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LIBRARY 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

SANTA BARBARA 

PRESENTED BY 

MRS. VICTOR GORTON 
AND 
ISABEL PARRY 



k. 



FRANZ LISZT 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 

PoBUBHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



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The Youthful Liszt 



FRANZ LISZT 



BY 

JAMES HUNEKER 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 

1911 



COPYRIGHT, 191 T, BT 
CHARLES SCRIBNER's SONS 



Published September, 19 ii 




TO 
HENRY T. FINCK 



" Cenic oblijse."— F, Liszt 



CONTENTS 



I. Liszt: The Real and Legendary . 

n. Aspects of His Art and Character 

III. The B-Minor Sonata and Other Piano 
Pieces 



IV. At Rome, Weimar, Budapest . . 

V. As Composer 

VI. Mirrored by His Contemporaries 
VII. In the Footsteps of Liszt , . 
VIII. Liszt Pupils and Lisztiana . . 
IX. Modern Pianoforte Virtuosi 

Instead of a Preface .... 
Index 



PAGE 

I 

34 



59 
78 
103 
201 
327 
353 
418 

439 
443 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Youthful Liszt Frontispiece 

7ACING PAGE 

Liszt's Birthplace, Raiding 8 

Adam Liszt — Liszt's father 12 

Anna Liszt — Liszt's mother la 

Daniel Liszt — Son of Liszt 16 

Blandine OUivier — Daughter of Liszt 16 

Cosima von Biilow — Daughter of Liszt 20 

Liszt, about 1850 36 

Liszt at the piano 40 

The Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein 50 

A Matinee at Liszt's 66 

Countess Marie d'Agoult 80 

Liszt in his atelier at Weimar 100 

Pauline Apel — Liszt's Housekeeper at Weimar . . 328 

Liszt and His Scholars, 1884 358 

Liszt's Hand 404 

Last Picture of Liszt, 1886, Aged Seventy-five Years 416 

The Final Liszt Circle at Weimar — Liszt at the Upper 

Window 436 



LISZT: THE REAL AND 
LEGENDARY 



Franz Liszt remarked to a disciple of his: 
"Once Liszt helped Wagner, but who now will 
help Liszt ? " This was said in 1874, when Liszt 
was well advanced in years, when his fame as 
piano virtuoso and his name as composer were 
wellnigh eclipsed by the growing glory of Wagner 
— truly a glory he had helped to create. In youth, 
an Orpheus pursued by the musical Maenads 
of Europe, in old age Liszt was a Merlin dealing 
in white magic, still followed by the Viviens. The 
story of his career is as romantic as any by Bal- 
zac. And the end of it all — after a half century 
and more of fire and flowers, of proud, brilliant 
music-making — was tragical. A gentle King 
Lear (without the consolation of a Cordelia), fol- 
lowing with resignation the conquering chariot 
of a man, his daughter's husband, who owed him 
so much, and, despite criticism, bravely acknowl- 
edged his debt, thus faithful to the end (he once 
declared that by Wagner he would stand or fall), 
Franz Liszt died a quarter of a century ago at 



FRANZ LISZT 

Bayreuth, not as Liszt the Conqueror, but a 
world-weary pilgrim, petted and flattered when 
young, neglected as the star of Wagner arose on 
the horizon. If only Liszt could have experi- 
enced the success of poverty as did Wagner. 
But the usual malevolent fairy of the fable en- 
dowed him with all the gifts but poverty, and 
that capricious old Pantaloon, the Time-Spirit, 
had his joke in the lonesome latter years. As 
regards his place in the musical pantheon, this 
erst-while comet is now a fixed star, and his feet 
set upon the white throne. There is no longer 
a Liszt case; his music has fallen into critical 
perspective; but there is still a Liszt case, psy- 
chologically speaking. Whether he was an 
archangel of light, a Bernini of tones, or, as Jean- 
Christophe describes him, "The noble priest, 
the circus-rider, neo-classical and vagabond, a 
mixture in equal doses of real and false nobility," 
is a question that will be answered according to 
one's temperament. That he was the captain 
of the new German music, a pianist without equal, 
a conductor of distinction, one who had helped to 
make the orchestra and its leaders what they 
are to-day; that he was a writer, a reformer of 
church music, a man of the noblest impulses and 
ideals, generous, selfless, and an artist to his finger- 
tips — these are the commonplaces of musical 
history. As a personality he was an apparition; 
only Paganini had so electrified Europe. A 
charmeur, his love adventures border on the leg- 
endary; indeed, are largely legend. As amor- 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

ous as a guitar, if we are to believe the romancers, 
the real Liszt was a man of intellect, a deeply 
religious soul; in middle years contemplative, 
even ascetic. His youthful extravagances, in- 
separable from his gipsy-like genius, and with- 
out a father to guide him, were remembered in 
Germany long after he had left the concert-plat- 
form. His successes, artistic and social — espe- 
cially the predilection for him of princesses and 
noble dames — raised about his ears a nest of per- 
nicious scandal-hornets. Had he not run away 
with Countess D'Agoult, the wife of a nobleman! 
Had he not openly lived with a married princess 
at Weimar, and under the patronage of the 
Grand Duke and Duchess and the Grand Duch- 
ess Maria Pawlowna, sister of the Czar of all the 
Russias! Besides, he was a Roman Catholic, 
and that didn't please such prim persons as 
Mendelssohn and Hiller, not to mention his own 
fellow-countryman, Joseph Joachim. Germany 
set the fashion in abusing Liszt. He had too 
much success for one man, and as a composer he 
must be made an example of; the services he ren- 
dered in defending the music of the insurgent 
Wagner was but another black mark against his 
character. And when Wagner did at last suc- 
ceed, Liszt's share in the triumph was speedily 
forgotten. The truth is, he paid the penalty for 
being a cosmopolitan. He was the first cosmo- 
politan in music. In Germany he was abused 
as a Magyar, in Hungary for his Teutonic tend- 
encies — he never learned his mother tongue 

3 



FRANZ LISZT 

— in Paris for not being French bom; here one 
recalls the Stendhal case. 

But he introduced into the musty academic at- 
mosphere of musical Europe a strong, fresh breeze 
from the Hungarian puzta; this wandering piano- 
player of Hungarian-Austrian blood, a genuine 
cosmopolite, taught music a new charm, the charm 
of the unexpected, the improvised. The freedom 
of Beethoven in his later works, and of Chopin in 
all his music, became the principal factor in the 
style of Liszt. Music must have the shape of 
an improvisation. In the Hungarian rhapsodies, 
the majority of which begin in a mosque, and 
end in a tavern, are the extremes of his system. 
His orchestral and vocal works, the two sympho- 
nies, the masses and oratorios and symphonic 
poems, are full of dignity, poetic feeling, religious 
spirit, and a largeness of accent and manner 
though too often lacking in architectonic; yet 
the gipsy glance and gipsy voice lurk behind 
many a pious or pompous bar. Apart from his 
invention of a new form — or, rather, the con- 
densation and revisal of an old one, the sym- 
phonic poem — Liszt's greatest contribution to 
art is the wild, truant, rhapsodic, extempore 
element he infused into modern music; nature in 
her most reckless, untrammelled moods he inter- 
preted with fidelity. But the drummers in the 
line of moral gasolene who controlled criticism 
in Germany refused to see Liszt except as an 
ex-piano virtuoso with the morals of a fly and 
a perverter of art. Even the piquant triangle 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

in his piano-concerto was suspected as possibly 
suggesting the usual situation of French comedy. 
The Liszt- Wagner question no longer presents 
any difficulties to the fair-minded. It is a simple 
one; men still living know that Wagner, to reach 
his musical apogee, to reach his public, had to 
lean heavily on the musical genius and in- 
dividual inspiration of Liszt. The later Wag- 
ner would not have existed — as we now know 
him — without first traversing the garden of 
Liszt. This is not a theory but a fact. Bee- 
thoven, as Philip Hale has pointed out, is the 
last of the very great composers; there is nothing 
new since Beethoven, though plenty of persua- 
sive personalities, much delving in mole-runs, 
many "new paths," leading nowhere, and much 
self-advertising. With its big drum and cym- 
bals, its mouthing or melting phrases, its start- 
ling situations, its scarlet waistcoats, its hair-oil 
and harlots, its treacle and thunder, the Roman- 
tic movement swept over the map of Europe, 
irresistible, contemptuous to its adversaries, and 
boasting a wonderful array of names. Schu- 
mann and Chopin, Berlioz and Liszt, Wagner — 
in a class by himself — are a few that may 
be cited; not to mention Victor Hugo, Delacroix, 
Gautier, Alfred de Musset, Stendhal. Georg 
Brandes assigns to Liszt a prominent place 
among the Romantics. But Beethoven still 
stood, stands to-day, four square to the universe. 
Wagner construed Beethoven to suit his own 
grammar. Why, for example, Berlioz should 

5 



FRANZ LISZT 

have been puzzled (or have pretended to) over 
the first page of the Tristan and Isolde prelude 
is itself puzzling; the Frenchman was a deeply 
versed Beethoven student. If he had looked 
at the first page of the piano sonata in C minor 
— the Pathetic, so-called — the enigma of the 
Wagnerian phraseology would have been solved; 
there, in a few lines, is the kernel of this music- 
drama. This only proves Wagner's Shake- 
sperian faculty of assimilation and his extraor- 
dinary gift in developing an idea (consider 
what he made of the theme of Chopin's C 
minor study, the Revolutionary, which he boldly 
annexed for the opening measures of the pre- 
lude to Act n of Tristan and Isolde) ; he bor- 
rowed his ideas whenever and wherever he saw 
fit His indebtedness to Liszt was great, but 
equally so to Weber, Marschner, and Beethoven; 
his indebtedness to Berlioz ended with the exter- 
nals of orchestration. Both Liszt and Wagner 
learned from Berb'oz in this respect Neverthe- 
less, how useless to compare Liszt to Berlioz or 
Berlioz to Wagner. As well compare a ruby to 
an opal, an emerald to a ruby. Each of these 
three composers has his indiWdual excellences. 
The music of all three suffers from an excess of 
profile. We call Liszt and Wagner the leaders 
of the modems, but their aims and methods were 
radically different Wagner asserted the su- 
premacy of the drama over tone, and then, in- 
consistoidy, set himself down to write the most 
anotKHiaUy doqaent music diat was ever con- 
6 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

ceived; Liszt always harped on the dramatic, on 
the poetic, and seldom employed words, believ- 
ing that the function of instrumental music is to 
convey in an ideal manner a poetic impression. 
In this he was the most thorough-going of poetic 
composers, as much so in the orchestral domain 
as was Chopin in his pianoforte compositions. 
Since Wagner's music-plays are no longer a nov- 
elty " the long submerged trail of Liszt is making 
its appearance," as Ernest Newman happily 
states the case. But to be truthful, the music of 
both Liszt and Wagner is already a little old- 
fashioned. The music-drama is not precisely 
in a rosy condition to-day. Opera is the weakest 
of forms at best, the human voice inevitably lim- 
its the art, and we are beginning to wonder what 
all the Wagnerian menagerie, the birds, dragons, 
dogs, snakes, swans, toads, dwarfs, giants, horses, 
and monsters generally, have to do with music. 
The music of the future is already the music of 
the past. The Wagner poems are uncouth, cum- 
bersome machines. We long for a breath of 
humanity, and it is difficult to find it outside of 
Tristan and Isolde or Die Meistersinger. Alas! 
for the enduring quality of operatic music. Noth- 
ing stales like theatre music. The rainbow vi- 
sion of a synthesis of the Seven Arts has faded 
forever. In the not far distant future Wagner 
will gain, rather than lose, by being played in the 
concert-room; that, at least, would dodge the 
ominously barren stretches of the Ring, and the 
early operas. The Button-Moulder awaits at the 

7 



FRANZ LISZT 

cross-roads of time all operatic music, even as he 
waited for Peer Gynt. And the New Zealander 
is already alive, though young, who will visit 
Europe to attend the last piano-recital: that 
species of entertainment invented by Liszt, and 
by him described in a letter to the Princess Bel- 
giojoso as colloquies of music and ennui. He 
was the first pianist to show his profile on the 
concert stage, his famous profil d'ivoire; before 
Liszt pianists either faced the audience or sat 
with their back to the public. 

The Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein — one nat- 
urally drops into the Almanac de Gotha when 
writing of the friends of Liszt — averred that 
Liszt had launched his musical spear further into 
the future than Wagner. She was a lady of firm 
opinions, who admired Berlioz as much as she 
loathed Wagner. But could she have foreseen 
that Richard Strauss, Parsifal-like, had caught 
the whizzing lance of the Klingsor of Weimar, 
what would she have said? Put the riddle to 
contemporary critics of Richard II — who has, 
at least, thrown off the influence of Liszt and 
Wagner, although he too frequently takes snap- 
shots at the sublime in his scores. Otherwise, 
you can no more keep Liszt's name out of the 
music of to-day than could good Mr. Dick the 
head of King Charles from the pages of his me- 
morial. 

His musical imagination was versatile, his 
impressionability so lively that he translated into 
tone his voyages, pictures, poems — Dante, 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

Goethe, Heine, Lamartine, Obermann, (Senan- 
cour), even Sainte-Beuve (Les Consolations,) 
legends, and the cypress-haunted fountains of 
the Villa d' Este (Tivoli); not to mention can- 
vases by Raphael, Mickelangelo, and the unin- 
spired frescoes of Kaulbach. All was grist that 
came to his musical mill. 

In a moment of self-forgetfulness, Wagner 
praised the music of Liszt in superlative terms. 
No need of quotation; the correspondence, a 
classic, is open to all. That the symphonic poem 
was secretly antipathetic to Wagner is the bald 
truth. After all his rhapsodic utterances con- 
cerning the symphonies and poems of Liszt — 
from which he borrowed many a sparkling jewel 
to adorn some corner in his giant frescoes — he 
said in 1877, "In instrumental music I am a 
reactionnaire, a conservative. I dislike every- 
thing that requires verbal explanations beyond 
the actual sounds." And he, the most copious of 
commentators concerning his own music, in 
which almost every other bar is labelled with a 
leading motive! To this Liszt wittily answered 
— in an unpublished letter (1878) — that lead- 
ing motives are comfortable inventions, as a com- 
poser does not have to search for a new melody. 
But what boots leading motives — as old as the 
hills and Johann Sebastian Bach — or symphonic 
poems nowadays? There is no Wagner, there 
is no Liszt question. After the unbinding of the 
classic forms the turbulent torrent is become the 
new danger. Who shall dam its speed ! Brahms 



FRANZ LISZT 

or Reger? The formal formlessness of the new 
school has placed Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner 
on the shelf, almost as remotely as are Haydn, 
Mozart, and Beethoven. The symphonic poem 
is now a monster of appalling lengths, thereby, 
as Mr. Krehbiel suggests, defeating its chiefest 
reason for existence, its brevity. The foam and 
fireworks of the impressionistic school, Debussy, 
Dukas, and Ravel, and the rest, are enjoyable; 
the piano music of Debussy has the iridescence 
of a spider's web touched by the fire of the set- 
ting sun; his orchestra is a jewelled conflagra- 
tion. But he stems like the others, the Russians 
included, from Liszt. Charpentier and his fol- 
lowers are Wagner a la coule. Where it will all 
end no man dare predict. But Mr. Newman is 
right in the matter of programme-music. It has 
come to stay, modified as it may be in the future. 
Too many bricks and mortar, the lust of the ear 
as well as of the eye, glutted by the materialistic 
machinery of the Wagner music -drama, have 
driven the lovers of music-for-music's-sake 
back to Beethoven; or, in extreme cases, to 
novel forms wherein vigourous affirmations are 
dreaded as much as an eight- bar melody; for 
those meticulous temperaments that recoil from 
clangourous chord, there are the misty tonali- 
ties of Debussy or the verse of Paul Verlaine. 
However, the aquarelles and pastels and land- 
scapes of Debussy or Ravel were invented by 
Urvater Liszt — caricatured by Wagner in the 
person of Wo tan; all the impressionistic school 

lO 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

may be traced to him as its fountain-head. Think 
of the little sceneries scattered through his piano 
music, particularly in his Years of Pilgrimage; 
or of the storm and stress of the Dante Sonata. 
The romanticism of Liszt was, like so many of 
his contemporaries, a state of soul, a condition of 
exalted or morbid sensibility. But it could not 
be said of him as it could of all the Men of Fine 
Shades — Chateaubriand, Heine, Stendhal, Ben- 
jamin Constant, Sainte-Beuve — that they were 
only men of feeling in their art, and decidedly 
the reverse in their conduct. Liszt was a pattern 
of chivalry, and if he seems at times as indulg- 
ing too much in the Grand Manner set it down 
to his surroundings, to his temperament. The 
idols of his younger years were Bonaparte and 
Byron, Goethe and Chateaubriand, while in the 
background hovered the prime corrupter of the 
nineteenth century and the father of Roman- 
ticism, J. J. Rousseau. 



II 



The year 1811 was the year of the great com- 
et. Its wine is said to have been of a richness; 
some well-known men were born, beginning with 
Thackeray and John Bright; Napoleon's son, the 
unhappy Due de Reichstadt, first saw the light 
that year, as did Jules Dupr^, Theophile Gautier, 
and Franz Liszt. There will be no disputes con- 
cerning the date of his birth, October 226., as was 
II 



FRANZ LISZT 

the case with Chopin. His ancestors, according 
to a lengthy family register, were originally noble ; 
but the father of Franz, Adam Liszt, was a 
manager of the Esterhazy estates in Hungary at 
the time his only son and child was born. He 
was very musical, knew Joseph Haydn, and was 
an admirer of Hummel, his music and playing. 
The mother's maiden name was Anna Lager 
(or Laager), a native of lower Austria, with Ger- 
man blood in her veins. The mixed blood of 
her son might prove a source of interest to 
Havelock Ellis in his studies of heredity and 
genius. If Liszt was French in the early years 
of his manhood, he was decidedly German the 
latter half of his life. The Magyar only came 
out on the keyboard, and in his compositions. 
She was of a happy and extremely vivacious 
nature, cheerful in her old age, and contented 
to educate her three grandchildren later in life. 
The name Liszt would be meal or flour in 
English; so that Frank Flour might have been 
his unromantic cognomen; a difference from 
Liszt Ferencz, with its accompanying battle-cry 
of Eljen! In his son Adam Liszt hoped to 
realise his own frustrated musical dreams. A 
prodigy of a prodigious sort, the comet and the 
talent of Franz were mixed up by the supersti- 
tious. Some gipsy predicted that the lad would 
return to his native village rich, honoured, and 
in a glass house (coach). This he did. In 
Oedenburg, during the summer of 1903, I 
visited at an hour or so distant, the town of 
12 




< ^ 



H-1 :5 



< ^ 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

Eisenstadt and the village of Raiding (or 
Reiding). In the latter is the house where 
Liszt was born. The place, which can hardly 
have changed much since the boyhood of Liszt, 
is called Dobrjan in Hungarian. I confess I 
was not impressed, and was glad to get back 
to Oedenburg and civilisation. In this latter 
spot there is a striking statue of the composer. 

It is a thrice-told tale that several estimable 
Hungarian magnates raised a purse for the boy, 
sent him with his father to Vienna, where he 
studied the piano with the pedagogue Carl 
Czerny, that indefatigable fabricator of finger- 
studies, and in theory with Salieri. He was 
kissed by the aged Beethoven on the forehead 
— Wotan saluting young Siegfried — though 
Schindler, ami de Beethoven, as he dubbed him- 
self, denied this significant historical fact. But 
later Schindler pitched into Liszt for his Bee- 
thoven interpretations, hotly swearing that they 
were the epitome of unmusical taste. The old 
order change th, though not old prejudices. 
Liszt waxed in size, technique, wisdom. Soon 
he was given up as hopelessly in advance of his 
teachers. Wherever he appeared they hailed 
him as a second Hummel, a second Beethoven. 
And he improvised. That settled his fate. He 
would surely become a composer. He v/ent to 
Paris, was known as le petit Litz, and received 
everywhere. He became the rage, though he 
was refused admission to the Conservatoire, 
probably because he displayed too much talent 

13 



FRANZ LISZT 

for a boy. He composed an opera, Don Sancho, 
the score of which has luckily disappeared. 
Then an event big with consequences was expe- 
rienced by the youth — he lost his father in 1827. 
(His mother survived her husband until 1866.) 
He gave up concert performances as too preca- 
rious, and manfully began teaching in Paris. 
The revolution started his pulse to beating, and 
he composed a revolutionary symphony. He 
became a lover of humanity, a socialist, a fol- 
lower of Saint-Simon, even of the impossible 
Fhre Prosper Enfantin, His friend and adviser 
was Lamenais, whose Paroles d'un Croyant 
had estranged him from Rome. A wonderful, 
unhappy man. Liszt read poetry and philoso- 
phy, absorbed all the fashionable frenzied for- 
mulas and associated with the Romanticists. 
He met Chopin, and they became as twin 
brethren. Franf ois Mignet, author of A History 
of the French Revolution, said to the Princess 
Cristina Belgiojoso of Liszt: "In the brain of 
this young man reigns great confusion." No 
wonder. He was playing the piano, compos- 
ing, teaching, studying the philosophers, and 
mingling with enthusiastic idealists who burnt 
their straw before they moulded their bricks. 
As Francis Hackett wrote of the late Lord 
Acton, Liszt suffered from "intellectual log- 
jam." But the current of events soon released 
him. 

He met the Countess d'Agoult in the brilliant 
whirl of his artistic success. She was beautiful, 

14 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

accomplished, though her contemporaries de- 
clare she was not of a truthful nature. She 
was born Marie Sophie de Flavigny, at Frank- 
fort-on-Main in 1805. Her father was the Vi- 
comte de Flavigny, who had married the daughter 
of Simon Moritz Bethmann, a rich banker, orig- 
inally from Amsterdam and a reformed Hebrew, 
She had literary ability, was proud of having 
once seen Goethe, and in 1827 she married 
Comte Charles d'Agoult. But social sedition 
was in the air. The misunderstood woman — no 
new thing — was the fashion. George Sand was 
changing her lovers with every new book she 
wrote, and Madame, the Countess d'Agoult — 
to whom Chopin dedicated his first group of 
Etudes — began to write, began to yearn for 
fame and adventures. Liszt appeared. He seems 
to have been the pursued. Anyhow, they eloped. 
In honour he couldn't desert the woman, and they 
made Geneva their temporary home. She had 
in her own right 20,000 francs a year income; 
it cost Liszt exactly 300,000 francs annually 
to keep up an establishment such as the 
lady had been accustomed to — he earned this, 
a tidy amount, for those days, by playing the 
piano all over Europe. Madame d'Agoult bore 
him three children: Blandine, Cosima, and Dan- 
iel. The first named married Emile Ollivier, 
Napoleon's war minister — still living at the 
present writing — in 1857. She died in 1862. 
Cosima married Hans von Biilow, her father's 
favourite pupil, in 1857; later she went ofif with 

15 



FRANZ LISZT 

Richard Wagner, married him, to her father's 
despair — principally because she had renounced 
her religion in so doing — and to-day is Wagner's 
widow. Daniel Liszt, his father's hope, died 
December, 1859, at the age of twenty, Liszt 
had legitimatised the birth of his children, had 
educated them, had dowered his daughters, and 
they proved all three a source of sorrow. 

He quarrelled with the D'Agoult and they 
parted bad friends. Under the pen name of 
Daniel Stern she attacked Liszt in her souve- 
nirs and novels. He forgave her. They met in 
Paris once, in the year i860. He gently told her 
that the title of the souvenirs should have been 
'TosesetMensonges." She wept. Tragic come- 
dians, both. They were bored with one another; 
their union recalls the profound reflection of Flau- 
bert, that Emma Bovary found in adultery 
all the platitudes of marriage. Perhaps other 
ladies had supervened. Like Byron, Liszt was 
the sentimental hero of the day, a Chateaubriand 
Ren^ of the keyboard. Balzac put him in a book, 
so did George Sand. All the painters and sculp- 
tors, Delaroche and Ary Scheff'er among others 
made his portrait. Nevertheless, his head was 
not turned, and when, after an exile of a few 
years, Thalberg had conquered Paris in his ab- 
sence, he returned and engaged in an ivory duel, 
at the end worsting his rival. Thalberg was the 
first pianist in Europe, contended every one. 
And the Belgiojoso calmly remarked that Liszt 
was the only one. After witnessing the Pade- 
16 




O -s 



« 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

rewski worship of yesterday nothing related of 
Liszt should surprise us. 

In the meantime, Paganini, had set his brain 
seething. Chopin, Paganini and Berlioz were 
the predominating artistic influences in his life; 
from the first he appreciated the exotic, learned 
the resources of the instrument, and the value of 
national folk-song flavour; from the second he 
gained the inspiration for his transcendental tech- 
nique; from the third, orchestral colour and the 
"new paths" were indicated to his ambitious 
spirit. He never tired, he always said there 
would be plenty of time to loaf in eternity. His 
pictures were everywhere, he became a kind of 
Flying Hungarian to the sentimental Sentas of 
those times. He told Judith Gautier that the 
women loved themselves in him. Modest man! 
What charm was in his playing an army of au- 
ditors have told us. Heine called Thalberg a 
king, Liszt a prophet, Chopin a poet, Herz 
an advocate, Kalkbrenner a minstrel, Madame 
Pleyel a Sibyl, and Doehler — a pianist. Scudo 
wrote that Thalberg's scales were like pearls on 
velvet, the scales of Liszt the same, but the vel- 
vet was hot! Louis Ehlert, no mean observer, 
said he possessed a quality that neither Tausig 
nor any virtuoso before or succeeding him ever 
boasted — the nearest approach, perhaps, was 
Rubinstein — namely: a spontaneous control of 
passion that approximated in its power to nature 
. . . and an incommensurable nature was his. 
He was one among a dozen artists who made 

17 



FRANZ LISZT 

Europe interesting during the past century. Slim, 
handsome in youth, brown of hair and blue- 
eyed, with the years he grew none the less pic- 
turesque; his mane was white, his eyes became 
blue-gray, his pleasant baritone voice a brum- 
ming bass. There is a portrait in the National 
Gallery by Lorenzo Lotto, of Prothonotary 
Giuhano, that suggests him, and in the Burne- 
Jones picture. Merlin and Vivien, there is cer- 
tainly a transcript of his features. A statue by 
Foyatier in the Louvre, of Spartacus, is really the 
head of the pianist. As Abbe he was none the 
less fascinating; for his admirers he wore his 
soutane with a difference. 

Useless to relate the Thousand-and-One 
Nights of music, triumphs, and intrigues in his 
life. When the Countess d'Agoult returned to 
her family a council, presided over by her hus- 
band's brother, exonerated the pianist, and his 
behaviour was pronounced to be that of a gentle- 
man! Surely the Comic Muse must have chuck- 
led at this. Like Wagner, Franz Liszt was a 
Tragic Comedian of prime order. He knew to 
the full the value of his electric personality. Sin- 
cere in art, he could play the grand seignior, the 
actor, the priest, and diplomat at will. Pose he 
had to, else abandon the profession of piano 
virtuoso. But he bitterly objected to playing the 
role of a performing poodle, and once publicly 
insulted the Czar, who dared to talk while the 
greatest pianist in the world played. He finally 
grew tired of Paris, of public life. He had been 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

loved by such various types of women as George 
Sand — re-christened by Baudelaire as the Prud- 
homme of immorality; delightful epigram! — 
by Marie Du Plessis, the Lady of the Camel- 
lias, and by that astounding adventuress, Lola 
Montez. How many others only a Leporello 
catalogue would show. 

His third artistic period began in 1847, his so- 
journ at Weimar. It was the most attractive 
and fruitful of all. From 1848 to 1861 the musi- 
cal centre of Germany was this little town im- 
mortalised by Goethe. There the world flocked 
to hear the first performance of Lohengrin, and 
other Wagner operas. A circle consisting of 
Raff, Von Biilow, Tausig, Cornelius, Joseph 
Joachim, Schumann, Robert Franz, Litolff, 
Dionys Pruckner, William Mason, Lassen, with 
Berlioz and Rubinstein and Brahms (in 1854) 
and Remenyi as occasional visitors, to mention 
a tithe of famous names, surrounded Liszt. His 
elective affinity — in Goethe's phrase — was the 
Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein, who with her child 
had deserted the usual brutal and indifferent 
husband — in fashionable romances. Her influ- 
ence upon Liszt's character has been disputed,but 
unwarrantably. She occasionally forced him to 
do the wrong thing, as in the case of the ending 
of the Dante symphony; vide, the new Wagner 
Autobiography. Together they wrote his chief 
literary works, the study of Chopin — the princess 
supplying the feverish local colour, and the book 
on Hungarian gipsy music, which contains a 

19 



FRANZ LISZT 

veiled attack on the Jews, for which Liszt was 
blamed. The Sayn-Wittgenstein was an in- 
tense, narrow nature — she has been called a 
"slightly vulgar aristocrat," and one of her pecu- 
liarities was seeing in almost every one of artistic 
or intellectual prominence Hebraic traits or linea- 
ments. Years before the Geyer and the Leipsic 
Judengasse story came out she unhesitatingly 
pronounced Richard Wagner of Semitic origin; 
she also had her doubts about Berlioz and others. 
The Lisztian theory of gipsy music consists, as 
Dannreuther says, in the merit of a laboured at- 
tempt to prove the existence of something like a 
gipsy epic in terms of music, the fact being that 
Hungarian gipsies merely play Hungarian popu- 
lar tunes in a fantastic and exciting manner, but 
have no music that can properly be called their 
own. Liszt was a facile, picturesque writer and 
did more with his pen for Wagner than Wagner's 
own turbid writings. But a great writer he was 
not — many-sided as he was. It was unkind, 
however, on the part of Wagner to say to a friend 
that Cosima had more brains than her father. 
If she has, Bayreuth since her husband's death 
hasn't proved it. Wagner, when he uttered this, 
was probably in the ferment of a new passion, 
having quite recovered from his supposedly 
eternal love for Mathilde Wesendonck. 

A masterful woman the Princess Sayn-Witt- 
genstein, though far from beautiful, she so con- 
trolled and ordered Liszt's life that he quite shed 
his bohemian skin, composed much, and as Kap- 
20 




Cosima von Bulow 

Daughter of Liszt 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

ellmeister produced many novelties of the new 
school. They lived on a hill in a house called 
the Altenburg, not a very princely abode, and 
there Liszt accomplished the major portion of 
his works for orchestra, his masses and piano 
concertos. There, too, Richard Wagner, a rev- 
olutionist, wanted by the Dresden police, came 
in 1849 — from May 19th to 24th — disguised, 
carrying a forged passport, poor, miserable. 
Liszt secured him lodgings, and gave him a ban- 
quet at the Altenburg attended by Tausig, Von 
Billow, Gille, Draeseke, Gottschalg, and others, 
nineteen in all. Wagner behaved badly, in- 
sulted his host and guests. He was left in soli- 
tude until Liszt insisted on his apologising for 
his rude manners — which he did with a bad 
grace. John F. Runciman has said that Liszt 
ought to have done even more for Wagner than 
he did — or words to that effect; just so, and 
there is no doubt that the noble man has put 
the world in his debt by piloting the music- 
dramatist into safe harbour; but while ingrati- 
tude is no crime according to Nietzsche (who, 
quite illogically, reproached Wagner for his in- 
gratitude) there seems a limit to amiability, and 
in Liszt's case his amiability amounted to weak- 
ness. He could never say "No" to Wagner (nor 
to a pretty woman). He understood and for- 
gave the Mime nature in Wagner for the sake 
of his Siegfried side. There was no Mime in 
Liszt, nothing small nor hateful, although he 
could at times play the benevolent, ironic Me- 
21 



FRANZ LISZT 

phisto. And in his art he mirrored the quality 
to perfection — the Mephistopheles of his Faust 
Symphony. 

Intrigues pursued him in his capacity as court 
musical director. The Princess Maria-Paw - 
lowna died June, 1859; the following October 
Princess Marie, daughter of Princess Sayn-Witt- 
genstein, married the Prince Hohenlohe, and 
Liszt, after the opera by Peter Cornelius was 
hissed, resigned his post. He remembered 
Goethe and his resignation, caused by a trained 
dog, at the same theatre. But he didn't leave 
Weimar until August 17, 1861, joining the prin- 
cess at Rome. The scandal of the attempted 
marriage there is told in another chapter. Again 
the eyes of the world were riveted upon Liszt. 
His very warts became notorious. Some say that 
Cardinal Antonelli, instigated by Polish rela- 
tives of the princess, upset the affair when the 
pair were literally on the eve of approaching the 
altar; some believe that the wily Liszt had set in 
motion the machinery; but the truth is that at the 
advice of the Cardinal Prince Hohenlohe, his 
closest friend, the marriage scheme was dropped. 
When the husband of the princess died there 
was no further talk of matrimony. Instead, Liszt 
took minor orders, concentrated his attention 
on church music, and henceforth spent his year 
between Rome, Weimar, and Budapest. He 
hoped for a position at the Papal court analogous 
to the one he had held at Weimar; but the ap- 
pointment of music-director at St. Peter's was 
22 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

never made. To Weimar he had returned (1869) 
at the cordial invitation of the archduke, who 
allotted to his use a little house in the park, the 
Hofgdrtnerei. There every summer he received 
pupils from all parts of the world, gratuitously- 
advising them, helping them from his impover- 
ished purse, and, incidentally, being admired by 
a new generation of musical enthusiasts, par- 
ticularly those of the feminine gender. There 
were lots of scandals, and the worthy burghers 
of the town shook their heads at the goings-on 
of the Lisztianer. The old man fell under many 
influences, some of them sinister. He seldom 
saw Richard or Cosima Wagner, though he at- 
tended the opening of Bayreuth in 1876. On 
that occasion Wagner publicly paid a magnificent 
tribute to the genius and noble friendship of 
Liszt. It atoned for a wilderness of previous 
neglect and ingratitude. 

With Wagner's death in 1883 his hold on 
mundane matters began to relax. He taught, he 
travelled, he never failed to pay the princess an 
annual visit at Rome. She had immured her- 
self, behind curtained windows and to the light of 
waxen tapers led the life of a mystic, also smoked 
the blackest of cigars. She became a theologian 
in petticoats and wrote numerous inutile books 
about pin-points in matters ecclesiastical. No 
doubt she still loved Liszt, for she set a spy on 
him at Weimar and thus kept herself informed 
as to how much cognac he daily consumed, how 
many pretty girls had asked for a lock of his sil- 

23 



FRANZ LISZT 

very hair, also the name of the latest aspirant 
to his affections. 

What a brilliant coterie of budding artists sur- 
rounded him: D'Albert, Urspruch, Geza Zichy, 
Friedheim, Joseffy, Rosenthal, Reisenauer, Grieg, 
Edward MacDowell, Burmeister, Stavenhagen, 
Sofie Menter, Toni Raab, Nikisch, Weingartner, 
Siloti, Laura Kahrer, Sauer, Adele Aus der Ohe, 
Moszkowski, Scharwenka, Pachmann, Saint- 
Saens, Rubinstein — the latter not as pupil — Bo- 
rodin, Van der Stucken, and other distinguished 
names in the annals of compositions and piano 
playing. Liszt's health broke down, but he per- 
sisted in visiting London in the early summer of 
1886, where he was received as a demi-god by 
Queen Victoria and the musical world; he had 
been earlier in Paris where a mass of his was 
sung with success. His money affairs were in a 
tangle; once in receipt of an income that had 
enabled him to throw money away to any whin- 
ing humbug, he complained at the last that he 
had no home of his own, no income — he had 
not been too shrewd in his dealings with music 
publishers — and very little cash for travelling 
expenses. The princess needed her own rents, 
and Liszt was never a charity pensioner. Dur- 
ing the Altenburg years, the Glanzzeit at Weimar, 
her income had sufficed for both, as Liszt was 
earning no money from concert- tours. But at 
the end, despite his devoted disciples, he was the 
very picture of a deserted, desolate old hero. And 
he had given away fortunes, had played fortunes 
24 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

at benefit-concerts into the coffers of cities over- 
taken by fire or flood. Surely, the seamy side of 
success. "Wer aher wird nun Liszt helfenV 
This half humorous, half pathetic cry of his had 
its tragic significance. 

Liszt last touched the keyboard July 19, 1886, 
at Colpach, Luxemburg, the castle of Munkaf zy, 
the Hungarian painter. Feeble as he must have 
been there was a supernatural aureole about his 
music that caused his hearers to weep. (Fancy 
the pianoforte inciting to tears!) He played his 
favourite Liebestraum, the Chant Polonais from 
the "Glanes de Woronice" (the Polish estate 
of the Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein) and the six- 
teenth of his Soirees de Vienne. He went on to 
Bayreuth, in company with a persistent young 
Parisian lady — the paramount passion not quite 
extinguished — attended a performance of Tris- 
tan and Isolde, through which he slept from ab- 
solute exhaustion; though he did not fail to ack- 
nowledge in company with Cosima Wagner the 
applause at the end. He went at once to bed never 
to leave it alive. He died of lung trouble on the 
night of July 31st or the early hour of August i, 
1886, and his last word is said to have been 
"Tristan." He was buried, in haste — that he 
might not interfere with the current Wagner 
festival — and, no doubt, is mourned at leisure. 
His princess survived him a year; this sounds 
more romantic than it is. [Madame d'Agoult 
had died in 1876.] A new terror was added to 
death by the ugly tomb of the dead man, designed 

25 



FRANZ LISZT 

by his grandson, Siegfried Wagner; said to be a 
composer as well as an amateur arciiitect. Vic- 
tories usually resemble each other; it is defeat 
alone that wears an individual physiognomy. 
Liszt, with all his optimism, did not hesitate to 
speak of his career as a failure. But what a 
magnificent failure! " To die and to die young 
— what happiness," was a favourite phrase of his. 

Ill 

" While remaining itself obscure," wrote George 
Moore of L' Education Sentimentale, by Flaubert, 
"this novel has given birth to a numerous litera- 
ture. The Rougon-Macquart series is nothing 
but L' Education Sentimentale re-written into 
twenty volumes by a prodigious journalist — 
twenty huge balloons which bob about the streets, 
sometimes getting clear of the housetops. Mau- 
passant cut it into numberless walking-sticks; 
Goncourt took the descriptive passages and 
turned them into Passy rhapsodies. The book 
has been a treasure cavern known to forty thieves, 
whence all have found riches and fame. The 
original spirit has proved too strong for general 
consumption, but, watered and prepared, it has 
had the largest sale ever known." 

This particular passage is suited to the case of 
Liszt. Despite his obligations to Beethoven, 
Chopin and Berlioz — as, indeed, Flaubert owed 
something to Chateaubriand, Bossuet, and Bal- 
zac — he invented a new form, the symphonic 
26 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

poem, invented a musical phrase, novel in shape 
and gait, perfected the leading motive, employed 
poetic ideas instead of the antique and academic 
cut and dried square-toed themes — and was 
ruthlessly plundered almost before the ink was 
dry on his manuscript, and without due acknowl- 
edgment of the original source. So it came to 
pass that the music of the future, lock, stock, 
and barrel, first manufactured by Liszt, travelled 
into the porches of the public ears from the scores 
of Wagner, Raff, Cornelius, Saint-Saens, Tschai- 
kowsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Borodin, and minor 
Russian composers and a half-hundred besides 
of the new men, beginning with the name of 
Richard Strauss — that most extraordinary per- 
sonality of latter-day music. And Liszt sat in 
Weimar and smiled and waited and waited and 
smiled; and if he has achieved paradise by this 
time he is still smiling and waiting. He often 
boasted that storms were his metier, meaning their 
tonal reproduction in orchestral form or on the 
keyboard — but I suspect that patience was his 
cardinal virtue. 

Henry James once wrote of the human soul 
and it made me think of Liszt: "A romantic, 
moonlighted landscape, with woods and moun- 
tains and dim distances, visited by strange winds 
and murmurs," Liszt's music often evokes the 
golden opium-haunted prose of De Quincy; 
it is at once sensual and rhetorical. It also has 
its sonorous platitudes, unheavenly lengths, and 
barbaric yawps. 

27 



FRANZ LISZT 

Despite his marked leaning toward the classic 
(Raphael, Correggio, Mickelangelo, and those 
frigid, colourless Germans, Kaulbach, Cornehus, 
Schadow, not to mention the sweetly romantic 
Ary Scheffer and the sentimental Delaroche), by 
temperament Liszt was a lover of the grotesque, 
the baroque, the eccentric, even the morbid. He 
often declared that it was his pet ambition to 
give a piano recital in the Salon Carre of the 
Louvre, where, surrounded by the canvases of 
Da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Tintor- 
etto, Rembrandt, Veronese, and others of the 
immortal choir, he might make music never to 
be forgotten. In reality, he would have played 
with more eflfect if the pictures had been painted 
by Salvator Rosa, El Greco, Hell-Fire Breughel, 
Callot, Orcagna (the Dance of Death at Pisa), 
Matthew Griinwald; or among the moderns, 
Gustave Dord, the macabre Wiertz of Brussels, 
Edward Munch, Matisse or Picasso. Ugliness 
mingled with voluptuousness, piety doubted by 
devilry, the quaint and the horrible, the satanic 
and the angelic, these states of soul (and 
body) appealed to Liszt quite as much as they 
did to Berlioz. They are all the apex of delir- 
ious romanticism; — now as dead as the class- 
icism that preceded and produced it — of the 
seeking after recondite sensations and express- 
ing them by means of the eloquent, versatile 
orchestral apparatus. Think what roles Death 
and Lust play in the over-strained art of the 
Romantics (the "hairy romantic!' as Thack- 
28 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

eray called Berlioz, and no doubt Liszt, for he 
met him in London); what bombast, what 
sonorous pomp and pageantry, what sighing 
sensuousness, what brilliant martial spirit — 
they are all to be found in Liszt. In musical 
irony he never had but one match, Chopin — 
until Richard Strauss; Berlioz was also an 
adept in this disquieting mood. Liszt makes a 
direct appeal to the nerves, he has the trick of 
getting atmosphere with a few bars; and even if 
his great solo sonata has been called "The Invi- 
tation to Hissing and Stamping" (thus named by 
Gumprecht, a blind critic of Berlin, about 1854) 
the work itself is a mine of musical treasures, 
and a most dramatic sonata — that is if one 
accepts Liszt's definition of the form. Here 
we recall Cabaner's music — as reported by Mr. 
Moore — " the music that might be considered 
by Wagner as a little too advanced, but which 
Liszt would not fail to understand." 

Liszt's music is virile and homophonic, de- 
spite its chromatic complexities. Instead of lack- 
ing in thematic invention he was, perhaps, a 
trifle too facile, too Italianate; he shook too 
many melodies from his sleeve to be always 
fresh; in a word, he composed too much. Archi- 
tecturally his work recalls at times the fan- 
tastic Kremlin, or the Taj Mahal, or — as 
in the Graner Mass — a strange perversion of 
the gothic. Liszt was less the master-builder 
than the painter; color, not form, was his 
stronger side. And like Chateaubriand his 

29 



FRANZ LISZT 

music is an interminglement of religious with 
moods of sensuality. An authority has written 
that his essays in counterpoint are perhaps 
more successful than those of Berlioz, though 
his fugue subjects are equally artificial; and 
he fails to make the most of them (but couldn't 
the same be said of Beethoven, or of the contra- 
puntal Reger?). Both the French and Hun- 
garian masters seem to have concocted rather 
than have composed their fugues. All of which 
is the eternal rule of thumb over again. The 
age of the fugue, like the age of manufactured 
miracles, is forever past. If you don't care for 
the fugal passages and part- writing in the Graner 
Mass or in the organ music, then there is nothing 
more to be said. Charles Lamb inveighed against 
concertos and instrumental music because, as he 
wrote, "words are something; but to gaze on 
empty frames, and to be forced to make the pict- 
ures for yourself ... to invent extempore trage- 
dies is to answer the vague gestures of an inex- 
plicable rambling mime." This unimaginative 
condition is the precise one from which suffered 
so many early and too many later critics of 
Liszt's original music. If you are not in the 
mood poetical, whether lyric, heroic, or epic, then 
go to some other composer. And I protest against 
the parenthetical position allotted him by musical 
commentators, mostly of the Bayreuth brood. 
The Wagner family saw to it that the mighty 
Richard should be furnished with an appropriate 
artistic pedigree; Beethoven and Gliick were 

30 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

called his precursors. Liszt is not a transitional 
composer, except that all great composers are a 
link in the unending chain. But, though he 
helped Wagner to his later ideas and style, he 
had nothing whatever to do with the Wagnerian 
music-drama or the Wagnerian attitude toward 
art. Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner are all three as 
different in conception and texture as Handel 
and Haydn and Mozart; yet many say Handel 
and Haydn, or, worse still, Mozart and Bee- 
thoven. Absurd and unjust bracketings by the 
fat-minded unmusical. 

In musicianship Liszt had no contemporary 
who could pretend to tie his shoe-strings, with 
the possible exception of Felix Mendelssohn. 
And in one particular he ranks next to Bach and 
Beethoven — in rhythmic invention; after Bach 
and Beethoven, Liszt stands nearest as regards 
the variety of his rhythms. His Eastern blood — 
the Magyar came from Asia — may account for 
this rhythmic versatility. It is a point not to 
be overlooked in future estimates of the com- 
poser. 

How then account for the rather indifferent 
fashion with which the Liszt compositions are 
received by the musical public, not only here, 
but in Europe? This year (191 1) the festivals 
in honor of the Master's Centenary may revive 
interest in his music and, perhaps, open the ears 
of the present generation to the fact that Strauss, 
Debussy and others are not as original as they 
sound. But I fear that Liszt, like any other dead 

31 



FRANZ LISZT 

composer — save the few giants, Bach, Mozart 
and Beethoven — will be played as a matter of 
course, sometimes from piety, sometimes be- 
cause certain dates bob up on the calendar. His 
piano music, the most grateful ever written, will 
die hard, yet die it will. 

Musicians should never forget Liszt, who, as 
was the case with Henry Irving and the English 
speaking actors, was the first to give musicians 
a social standing and prestige; before his time 
a pianist, violinist, organist, singer, was hardly 
superior to a lackey. Liszt was the aristocrat 
of his art; his essential nobihty of soul, coupled 
with his flaming genius, made him that. And 
he came from a cottage that seemed like a peas- 
ant's. A point for your anarch in art. 

Whatever the fluctuations of the chameleon of 
the Seven Arts, the best music will be always 
beautiful; beautiful with the old or the new 
beauty. Ugliness for the sheer sake of ugliness 
never endures; but one must be able to define 
modern beauty, else find oneself in the predica- 
ment of those deaf ones who could not or would 
not hear the beauty of Wagner; or those blind 
ones who would not or could not see the char- 
acteristic truth and beauty in the pictures of 
Edouard Manet. The sting and glamour of the 
Liszt orchestral music has compelling quality. 
Probably one of the most eloquent tributes paid 
to music is the following, and by a critic of pic- 
torial art, Mr. D. S. MacColl, now keeper of the 
Wallace Collection in London. He wrote: 

32 



THE REAL AND LEGENDARY 

"An art that came out of the old world two 
centuries ago with a few chants, love-songs, and 
dances, that a century ago was still tied to the 
words of a mass or an opera, or threading little 
dance movements together in a 'suite,' became, 
in the last century, this extraordinary debauch, 
in which the man who has never seen a battle, 
loved a woman, or worshipped a god may not 
only ideally but through the response of his nerves 
and pulses to immediate rhythmical attack, en- 
joy the ghosts of struggle, rapture and exaltation 
with a volume and intricacy, an anguish, a tri- 
umph, an irresponsibility unheard of. An am- 
plified pattern of action and emotion is given; 
each man fits to it the images he will." 



33 



II 

ASPECTS OF HIS ART AND 
CHARACTER 



LISZT AND THE LADIES 

The feminine friendships of Franz Liszt 
gained for him as much notoriety as his music 
making. To the average public he was a com- 
pound of Casanova, Byron and Goethe, and to 
this mixture could have been added the name of 
Stendhal. Liszt's love affairs, Liszt's children, 
Liszt's perilous escapes from daggers, pistols and 
poisons were the subjects of conversation in Eu- 
rope three-quarters of a century ago, as earlier 
Byron was both hero and black-sheep in the cur- 
rent gossip of his time. And as Liszt was in the 
public eye and ubiquitous — he travelled rapidly 
over Europe in a post-chaise, often giving two 
concerts in one day at different places — he be- 
came a sort of legendary figure, a musical Don 
Juan. He was not unmindful of the value of 
advertisement, so the legend grew with the years. 
That his reputation for gallantry was hugely ex- 
aggerated it is hardly necessary to add; a man 

34 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

who, accomplished as much as he, whether au- 
thor, pianoforte virtuoso or composer, could have 
hardly had much idle time on his hands for the 
devil to dip into; and then his correspondence. 
He wrote or dictated literally thousands of letters. 
He was an ideal letter-writer. No one went un- 
answered, and a fairly good biography might be 
evolved from the many volumes of his corre- 
spondence. Nevertheless he did find time for 
much philandering, and for the cultivation of 
numerous platonic friendships. But the witty 
characterisation of Madame Plater holds good of 
Liszt. She said one day to Chopin: "If I were 
young and pretty, my little Chopin, I would take 
thee for husband, Ferdinand Hiller for friend, 
and Liszt for lover." This was in 1833, when 
Liszt was twenty-two years of age and the witti- 
cism definitely places Liszt in the sentimental 
hierarchy. 

La Mara, an indefatigable and enthusiastic 
collector of anecdotes about unusual folk, has 
just published a book, Liszt und die Frauen. It 
deals with twenty-six friends of Liszt and does 
not lean heavily on scandal as an attractive ad- 
junct; indeed La Mara (Marie Lipsius) sees mu- 
sical life through rose-coloured spectacles, and 
Liszt is one of her gods. For her he is more 
sinned against than sinning, more pursued than 
pursuer; his angelic wings grow in size on his 
shoulders while you watch. Only a few of the 
ladies, titled and otherwise, mentioned in this 
book enjoyed the fleeting affection of the pianist- 

35 



FRANZ LISZT 

composer. Whatever else he might have been, 
Liszt was not a vulgar gallant. Over his swift- 
est passing intrigues he contrived to throw an 
air of mystery. In sooth, he was an idealist and 
romanticist. No one ever heard him boast his 
conquests. 

Did Liszt ever love? It has been questioned 
by some of his biographers. His first passion, 
however, seems to have been genuine, as genuine 
'as his love for his mother and for his children; he 
proved more admirable as a father than he would 
have been as a husband. In 1823 as "le petit 
Litz" he had set all musical Paris wondering. 
When his father died in 1827 he gave lessons there 
like any everyday pianoforte pedagogue because 
he needed money for the support of his mother. 
Among his aristocratic pupils was Caroline de 
Saint-Criq, the daughter of the Minister of Com- 
merce, Count de Saint-Criq. It must have been 
truly a love in the clouds. Caroline was mother- 
less. She was, as Liszt later declared, " a woman 
ideally good." Her father did not enjoy the pros- 
pect of a son-in-law who gave music lessons, and 
the intimacy suddenly snapped. But Liszt never 
forgot her; she became his mystic Beatrice, for 
her and to her he composed and dedicated a song; 
and even meeting her at Pau in 1844, just sixteen 
years after their rupture, did not create the dis- 
enchantment usual in such cases. Berlioz, too, 
sought an early love when old, and in his eyes 
she was as she always had been; Stendhal burst 
into tears on seeing again Angela Pietagrua after 

36 




Liszt, about 1850 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

eleven years absence. Verily art is a sentimental 
antiseptic. 

Caroline de Saint-Criq had married like the 
dutiful daughter she was, and Liszt's heart by 
1844 was not only battle-scarred but a cemetery 
of memories. She died in 1874. They had cor- 
responded for years, and at the moment of their 
youthful parting, caused by a cruel and extremely 
sensible father, they made a promise to recall 
each other's names at the hour of the daily 
angelus. Liszt averred that he kept his prom- 
ise. The name of the lyric he wrote for her is: 
"Je voudrais m'dvanouir comme la pourpre du 
soir" ("Ich mdchte hingehn wie das Abendrot"). 

Before the affair began with the Countess 
d'Agoult, afterward the mother of his three chil- 
dren, Liszt enjoyed an interlude with the Coun- 
tess Adele Laprunarede. It was the year of the 
revolution, 1830, and the profound despondency 
into which he had been cast by his unhappy love 
for Caroline was cured, as his mother sagely re- 
marked, by the sound of cannon. He became a 
fast friend of Countess Adele and followed her 
to her home in the Alps, there, as he jestingly said, 
to pursue their studies in style in the French lan- 
guage. It must not be forgotten that the Count, 
her husband, was their companion. But Paris 
wagged its myriad tongues all the same. Liszt's 
affiliation with Countess Louis Plater, born Gra- 
fin Brzostowska, the Pani Kasztelanowa (or 
lady castellan in English; no wonder he wrote 
such chromatic music later, these dissonantal 

37 



FRANZ LISZT 

names must have been an inspiration) was purely 
platonic, as were the majority of his friendships 
with the sex. But he dearly loved a princess, and 
the sharp eyes of Miss Amy Fay noted that his 
bow when meeting a woman of rank was a trifle 
too profound. (See her admirable Music Study 
in Germany.) The truth is that Liszt was a 
courtier. He was reared in aristocratic sur- 
roundings, and he took to luxury as would a cat. 
With the cannon booming in Paris he sketched 
the plan of his Revolutionary Symphony, but 
he continued to visit the aristocracy. In 1831 
at Stuttgart his friend Frederic Chopin wrote 
a "revolutionary" study (in C minor, opus 10) 
on hearing of Warsaw's downfall. Wagner rang 
incendiary church bells during the revolutionary 
days at Dresden in May 1849. Brave gestures, as 
our French friends would put it, and none the 
less lasting. Liszt's symphony is lost, but its 
themes may have bobbed up in his Faust and 
Dante symphonies. Who remembers the War- 
saw of 1 83 1 except Chopin lovers? And the re- 
bellious spirit of Wagner's bell -ringing passed 
over into his Tetralogy. Nothing is negligible 
to an artist, not even a "gesture." Naturally 
there is no reference to the incident in his au- 
tobiography. If you are to take Wagner at his 
word he was a mere looker-on in Dresden dur- 
ing what Bakounine contemptuously called "a 
petty insurrection." Nietzsche was right — great 
men are to be distrusted when they write of 
themselves. 

38 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

With the Madame d'Agoult and Princess Witt- 
genstein episodes we are not concerned just now. 
So much has been written in this two- voiced fugue 
in the symphony of Liszt's life that it is difficult 
to disentangle the truth from the fable. La 
Mara is sympathetic, though not particularly 
enlightening. Of more interest, because of 
the comparative mystery of the affair, is th? 
friendship between George Sand and Liszt. 
Naturally La Mara, sentimentalist that she is, 
denies a liaison. She errs. There was a brief 
love passage. But Liszt escaped the fate of De 
Musset and Chopin. Balzac speaks of the mat- 
ter in his novel Beatrix, in which George Sand 
is depicted as Camille Maupin, the Countess 
d'Agoult as Beatrix, Gustave Planch^ as Claude 
Vignon, and Liszt as Conti. Furthermore, the 
D'Agoult was jealous of Madame Sand, doubly 
jealous of her as a friend of Liszt and as a writer 
of genius. Read the D'Agoult's novel, written 
after her parting with Liszt, and see how in this 
Nelida she imitates the Elle et Lui. That she 
hated George Sand, after a pretended friendship, 
cannot be doubted; we have her own words as 
witnesses. In My Literary Life, by Madame Ed- 
mond Adam (Juliette Lamber),she said of George 
Sand to the author: " Her lovers are to her a piece 
of chalk, with which she scratches on the black- 
board. When she has finished she crushes the 
chalk under her foot, and there remains but the 
dust, which is quickly blown away." "How 
is it, my esteemed and beloved friend, you have 

39 



FRANZ LISZT 

never forgiven?" sadly asked Madame Adam. 
" Because the wound has not healed yet. Con- 
scious that I had put my whole life and soul 
into my love for Liszt she tried to take him 
away from me." 

One would suppose from the above that 
Liszt was faithful to Madame d'Agoult or that 
George Sand had separated the runaway couple, 
whereas in reality Liszt knew George Sand before 
he met the D'Agoult. What Madame Sand said 
of Liszt as a gallant can hardly be paraphrased 
in English, She was not very flattering. Perhaps 
George Sand was a reason why the relations be- 
tween Chopin and Liszt cooled; the latter said: 
" Our lady loves had quarrelled, and as good 
cavaliers we were in duty bound to side with 
them." Chopin said: "We are friends, we were 
comrades." Liszt told Dr. Niecks: "There was 
a cessation of intimacy, but no enmity. I left 
Paris soon after, and never saw him again." It 
was at the beginning of 1840 that Liszt went 
to Chopin's apartment accompanied by a com- 
panion. Chopin was absent. On his return he 
became furious on learning of the visit. No won- 
der. Who was the lady in the case? It could 
have been Marie, it might have been George 
Sand, and probably it was some new fancy. 

More adventurous were Liszt's affairs with 
Marguerite Gautier, the lady of the camellias, 
the consumptive heroine of the Dumas play, as 
related by Jules Janin, and with the more no- 
torious Lola Montez, who had to leave Munich 
40 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

to escape the wrath of the honest burghers. The 
king had humoured too much the lady's extrav- 
agant habits. She fell in love with Liszt, who 
had parted with his Marie in 1844, and went with 
him to Constantinople. Where they separated 
no one knows. It was not destined to be other 
than a fickle passion on both sides, not without 
its romantic aspects for romantically inclined 
persons. Probably the closest graze with hatred 
and revenge ever experienced by Liszt was the 
Olga Janina episode. Polish and high born, 
rich, it is said, she adored Liszt, studied with 
him, followed him from Weimar to Rome, from 
Rome to Budapest, bored him, shocked him as 
an abb^ and scandalised ecclesiastical Rome by 
her mad behaviour; finally she attempted to stab 
him, and, failing, took a dose of poison. She 
didn't die, but lived to compose a malicious and 
clever book. Souvenirs d'une Cosaque (written 
at Paris and Karentec, March to September, 
published by the Libraire Internationale, 1875, 
now out of print), and signed "Robert Franz." 
Poor old Liszt is mercilessly dissected, and his 
admiring circle at Weimar slashed by a vigour- 
ous pen. In truth, despite the falsity of the pic- 
ture, Olga Janina wrote much more incisively, 
with more personal colour and temperament, 
than did Countess d'Agoult, who also caricatured 
Liszt in her Nelida (as "Guermann"), and the 
good Liszt wrote to his princess: "Janina was 
not evil, only exalted." [I have heard it whis- 
pered that the attempt on Liszt's life at Rome 

41 



FRANZ LISZT 

was a melodramatic affair, concocted by his prin- 
cess, who was jealous of the Janina girl, with the 
aid of the pianist's valet.] 

La Mara shows to us twenty-six portraits in 
her Liszt and the Ladies; they include Princess 
Cristina Belgiojoso, Pauline Viardot-Garcia, Car- 
oline Unger-Sabatier, Marie Camille Pleyel, 
Charlotte von Hagn, Bettina von Arnim, Ma- 
rie von Mouchanoff-Kalergis, Rosalie, Countess 
Sauerma, a niece of Spohr and an accomplished 
harp player; the Grand Duchess of Saxony, 
Maria Pawlowna, and her successor, Sophie, 
Grand Duchess of Weimar, both patronesses of 
Liszt; the Princess Wittgenstein, Emilie Merian- 
Genast, Agnes Street Klindworth, Jessie Hille- 
brand Laussot, Sofie Menter, the greatest of his 
women pupils; the Countess Wolkenstein and 
Billow, Elpis Melena, Fanny, the Princess Ros- 
pigHosi, the Baroness Olga Meyendorff (this lady 
enjoyed to an extraordinary degree the confi- 
dence of Liszt. At Weimar she was held in 
high esteem by him — and hated by his pupils), 
and Nadine Helbig — Princess Nadine Schahaw- 
skoy. Madame Helbig was born in 1847 and 
went to Rome the first time in 1865. She be- 
came a Liszt pupil and a fervent propagandist. 
Her crayon sketch drawing of the venerable mast- 
er is excellent. In her possession is a drawing by 
Ingres, who met Liszt in Rome, 1839, when the 
pianist was twenty-eight years of age. We learn 
that Liszt never attempted "poetry" with the 
exception of a couplet which he sent to the egrc- 

42 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

gious Bettina von Arnim. It runs thus, and it 
consoles us with its crackling consonants for 
the discontinuance of further poetic flights on the 
part of its creator: 

"Ich kraxele auf der Leiter 
Und komme doch nicht weiter." 



II 

A FAMOUS FRIENDSHIP 

The perennial interest of the world in the 
friendships of famous men and women is proved 
by the never-ceasing publication of books con- 
cerning them. Of George Sand and her lovers 
how much has been written. George Eliot and 
Lewes, Madame de R^camier and Chateau- 
briand, Goethe and his affinities, Chopin and 
George Sand, Liszt and the Countess d'Agoult, 
Wagner and Mathilde — a voluminous index 
might be made of the classic and romantic liaisons 
that have excited curiosity from the time when 
the memory of man runneth not to the contrary 
down to yesteryear. Although Franz Liszt, great 
piano virtuoso, great composer, great man, has 
been dead since 1886, and the Princess Carolyne 
Sayn-Wittgenstein since 1887, volumes are still 
written about their friendship. Indeed, in any 
collection of letters written by Liszt, or to him, 
the name of the princess is bound to appear. 
She was the veritable muse of the Hungarian, 

43 



FRANZ LISZT 

and when her influence upon him as a composer 
is considered it will not do to say, as many crit- 
ics have said, that she was a stumbling-block in 
his career. The reverse is the truth. 

The most recent contributions to Liszt lit- 
erature are the letters between Franz Liszt and 
Carl Alexander, Archduke of Weimar; Aus der 
Glanzzeit der Weimarer Altenburg, by the fe- 
cund La Mara; and Franz Liszt, by August Goll- 
erich, a former pupil of the master. To this 
we might add the little-known bundle of letters 
by Adelheid von Schorn, Franz Liszt et la Prin- 
cesse de Sayn-Wittgenstein, (translated into 
French), a perfect mine of gossip. Miss von 
Schorn remained in Weimar after the princess 
left the Athens-on-the-Ilm for Rome and cor- 
responded with her, telling of Liszt's doings, 
never failing to record new flirtations and mak- 
ing herself generally useful to the venerable com- 
poser. When attacked by his last illness at Col- 
pach, where he had gone to visit Munkacszy, 
the painter. Miss von Schorn went to Bayreuth 
to look after him. There, at the door of his 
bed-chamber, she was refused admittance, Mad- 
ame Cosima Wagner, through a servant, telling 
her that the daughter and grand-daughters of 
Franz Liszt would care for him. The truth is 
that Madame Wagner had always detested the 
Princess Wittgenstein and saw in the Weimar 
lady one of her emissaries. Miss Von Schorn 
left Bayreuth deeply aggrieved. After Liszt's 
death her correspondence with the princess ab- 

44 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

ruptly ceased. She tells all this in her book. 
Even Liszt had shown her his door at Weimar 
several years before he died. He detested 
gossips and geese, he often declared. 

The interest displayed by the world artistic 
has always centred about the episode of the pro- 
jected marriage between the princess and Liszt. 
A dozen versions of the interrupted ceremony 
have been printed. Bayreuth, which never loved 
Weimar — that is, the Wagner family and the 
Wittgenstein faction — has said some disagree- 
able things, not hesitating to insinuate that Liszt 
himself was more pleased than otherwise when 
Pope Pius IX forbade the nuptials. Liszt biog- 
raphers side with their idol — who once said of 
his former son-in-law, Hans von Biilow, that he 
had no talent as a married man. He might have 
lived to repeat the epigram if he had married the 
princess. Decidedly, Liszt was not made for 
stepping in double-harness. 

Liszt, the most fascinating pianist in Europe, 
had been the most pursued male on the Conti- 
nent, and his meeting with the Princess Sayn- 
Wittgenstein at Kieff, Russia, in February, 1847, 
was really his salvation. He was then about 
thirty-six years old, in all the glory of his art and 
of his extraordinary virility. The princess, who 
was born in 1819, was living on her estate at 
Woronice, on the edge of the Russian steppes. 
She was nevertheless of Polish blood, the daugh- 
ter of Peter von Iwanowski, a rich landowner, 
and of Pauline Podoska, an original, eccentric, 

45 



FRANZ LISZT 

cultivated woman and a traveller. In 1836 she 
married the Prince Nikolaus Sayn- Wittgenstein, 
a Russian millionaire and adjutant to the Czar. 
It was from the first a miserable failure, this mar- 
riage. The bride, intellectual, sensitive, full of the 
Polish love of art, above all of music, could not 
long endure the raw dragoon, dissipated gam- 
bler and hard liver into whose arms she had been 
pushed by her ambitious father. She made a re- 
treat to Woronice with her infant daughter and 
spent laborious days and nights in the study 
of philosophy, the arts, sciences, and religion. 
The collision of two such natures as Carolyne 
and Liszt led to some magnificent romantic and 
emotional fireworks. 

We learn in reading the newly published let- 
ters between Liszt and the Grand Duke Carl 
Alexander of Weimar that the pianist had visit- 
ed Weimar for the first time in 1841. The furore 
he created was historic. The reigning family — 
doubtless bored to death in the charming, placid 
little city — welcomed Liszt as a distraction. 
The Archduchess Maria PawloMia, the sister of 
the Czar of Russia and mother of the later 
Kaiserin Augusta, admired Liszt, and so did the 
Archduke Carl. He was covered with jewels 
and orders. The upshot was that after a visit 
in 1842 Liszt was invited to the ofl&ce of General 
Music Director of Weimar. This offer he ac- 
cepted and in 1844 he began his duties. Carl 
Alexander had married the Princess Sophie of 
Holland, and therefore Liszt had a strong party 

46 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

in his favour at court. That he needed royal 
favour will be seen when we recall that in 1850 he 
produced an opera by a banished socialist, one 
Richard Wagner, the opera Lohengrin. He al- 
so needed court protection when in 1848 he 
brought to Weimar the runaway wife of Prince 
Wittgenstein. The lady placed herself under 
the friendly wing of Archduchess Maria Pawlov- 
na, who interceded in vain with the Czar in be- 
half of an abused, unhappy woman. Nikolaus 
Wittgenstein began divorce proceedings. His 
wife was ordered back to her Woronice estate by 
imperial decree. She refused to go and her for- 
tune was greatly curtailed by confiscation. She 
loved Liszt. She saw that in the glitter of this 
roving comet there was the stuff out of which 
fixed stars are fashioned, and she lived near him 
at Weimar from 1848 to 1861. 

This was the brilliant period of musical Wei- 
mar. The illusion that the times of Goethe and 
Schiller were come again was indulged in by other 
than sentimental people. Princess Carolyne 
held a veritable court at the Altenburg, a large, 
roomy so-called palazzo on the Jena post-road, 
just across the muddy creek they call the River 
Ilm. The present writer when he last visited 
Weimar found the house very much reduced from 
its former glories. It looked commonplace and 
hardly like the spot where Liszt wrote his sym- 
phonic poems, planned new musical forms and 
the reformation of church music; where came 
Berlioz, Thackeray, George Eliot, and George 

47 



FRANZ LISZT 

Henry Lewes, not to mention a number of dis- 
tinguished poets, philosophers, dramatists, com- 
posers, and aristocratic folk. Carolyne corre- 
sponded with all the great men of her day, be- 
ginning with Humboldt. The idea of the Goethe 
Foundation was born at that time. It was a 
veritable decade of golden years that Weimar 
lived; but there were evidences about 1858 that 
Liszt's rule was weakening, and after the perform- 
ance of his pupil's opera. The Barber of Bag- 
dad, by Peter Cornelius, December 15, 1858, 
he resigned as Kapellmeister. Dinglested's in- 
trigues hurt his unselfish nature and a single 
hiss had disturbed him into a resignation. The 
daughter of Princess Wittgenstein married in 
1859 Prince Hohenlohe-Schillingsfiirst, and in 
1861 the Altenburg was closed and the prin- 
cess went to Rome to see the Pope. 

At the Vatican the princess was well received. 
She was an ardent Catholic and was known to 
be an author of religious works. Pius IX bade 
her arise when she fell weeping at his feet asking 
for justice. She presented her case. She had 
been delivered into matrimony at the age of sev- 
enteen, knowing nothing of life, of love, of her 
husband. Wouldn't his Holiness dissolve the 
original chains so that she could marry the man of 
her election ? The Pope was amiable. He knew 
and admired Liszt. He had the matter investi- 
gated. After all it was an enforced marriage to 
a heretic, this odious Wittgenstein union; and 
then came the desired permission. Carolyne, 
48 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

Princess of Sayn- Wittgenstein, bom Ivanovska, 
was a free woman. Delighted, she lost no time; 
Liszt was told to reach Rome by the evening of 
October 21, 1861, the eve of his fiftieth birthday. 
The ceremony was to take place at the Church of 
San Carlo, on the Corso, at 6 A. m. of October 22. 

What really happened the night of the 21st 
after Liszt arrived no one truly knows but the 
principals. Lina Ramann tells her tale, La 
Mara hers, Gollerich his; Eugen Segnitz in his 
pamphlet, Franz Liszt und Rom, has a very con- 
servative account; but they all concur if not in 
details at least in the main fact, that powerful, 
unknown machinery was set in motion at the 
Vatican, that the Holy Father had rescinded 
his permission pending a renewed examination 
of the case. The blow fell at the twelfth hour. 
The church was decorated and a youth asked the 
reason for all the candles and bravery of the 
altars. He was told that Princess Wittgenstein 
was to marry *'her piano player" the next morn- 
ing. The news was brought by the boy to his 
father, M. Calm-Podoska, a cousin of Carolyne, 
who, with the aid of Cardinal Catarani and the 
Princess Odescalchi, begged a hearing at the 
Vatican. Cardinal Antonelli sent the messenger 
bearing the fatal information. The princess was 
as one dead. It was the end of her earthly 
ambitions. 

How did Liszt bear the disappointment? At 
this juncture the fine haze of legend intervenes. 
His daughter Cosima has said (in a number of 

49 



FRANZ LISZT 

the Bayreuther Blatter) that he had left Weimar 
for Rome remarking that he felt as if going to a 
funeral. Other and malicious folk have pre- 
tended to see in the melodramatic situation the 
fine Hungarian hand of Liszt. He was glad, so 
it was averred, to get rid of the marriage and the 
princess at the same stroke of the clock. Had she 
not been nicknamed "Furstin Hinter-Liszt" be- 
cause of the way she followed him from town to 
town when he was giving concerts? But Anto- 
nelli was a friend of the princess as well as an 
intimate of Liszt. We doubt not that Liszt came 
to Rome in good faith. In common with the 
princess he accepted the interruption as a sign 
from on high, and even when in 1864 Prince Witt- 
genstein died the marriage idea was not seriously 
revived. Carolyne asked Liszt to devote his 
genius to the Church. In 1865 he assumed 
minor orders and became an abbe. 

Pius IX, a lover of music, had on July 11, 
1863, visited Liszt at the Dominican cloister 
of Monte Mario, and to the Hungarian's accom- 
paniment had sung in his sweet-toned musical 
voice. Liszt was called his Palestrina, but alas! 
in the churchly music of Liszt Rome has never 
betrayed more than a passing interest; and to- 
day Pius X is ultra- Gregorian. Liszt, like a 
musical Moses, saw the promised land but did 
not enter it. 

The friendship of the princess and Liszt never 
abated. He divided his days between Weimar, 
Rome, and Budapest (from 1876 in the latter 

50 




The Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

city), and she wrote tirelessly in Rome books on 
theology, mysticism, and Church history. She 
was a great and generally good force in the life 
of Liszt, who was, she said, a lazy, careless 
man, though he left over thirteen hundred com- 
positions. Women are insatiable. 



Ill 

LATER BIOGRAPHERS 

The future bibliographer of Liszt literature 
has a heavy task in store for him, for books about 
the great Hungarian composer are multiplying 
apace. Liszt the dazzling virtuoso has long been 
a theme with variations, and is, we suspect, a 
theme nearly exhausted; but Liszt as tone poet, 
Liszt as song writer, as composer for the piano- 
forte, as litterateur, the man, the wickedest of 
Don Juans, the ecclesiastic — these and a dozen 
other studies of the most protean musician of the 
last century have been appearing ever since the 
publication of Lina Ramann's vast and senti- 
mental biography. Instead of there being a lack 
of material for a new book there is an embarrass- 
ment, not always of riches, from industrious pens, 
though few are of value. The Liszt pupils have 
had their say, and their pupils are beginning to 
intone the psalmody of uncritical praise. Liszt 
the romantic, magnificent, magnanimous, super- 
nal, is set to the same old harmonies, until the 
reader, tired of the gabble and gush, longs for a 

51. 



FRANZ LISZT 

biographer who will riddle the various legends 
and once and for all prove that Liszt was not 
perfection, even if he was the fascinating Ad- 
mirable Crichton of his times. 

Yet, and the fact sets us wondering over the 
mutability of fame, the Liszt propaganda is not 
flourishing. Richard Burmeister, a well known 
pupil and admirer of the master in Berlin has 
assured us that while Liszt is heard in all 
the concerts in Germany, the public is luke- 
warm; Richard Strauss is more eagerly heard. 
Liszt's familiar remark, "I can wait," provoked 
from the authority above mentioned the answer, 
" Perhaps he has waited too long." We are in- 
clined to disagree with this dictum. Liszt once 
had musical and unmusical Europe at his feet. 
His success was called comet-like, probably be- 
cause he was born in the comet year 1811, also 
because his hair was long and his technique trans- 
cendentally brilliant. His critical compositions 
were received with less approval. That such 
an artist of the keyboard could be also a suc- 
cessor to Beethoven was an idea mocked at by 
the conservative Leipsic school. Besides, he 
came in such a questionable guise as a Symphon- 
iker. A piano concerto with a triangle in the 
score (the E flat), compositions for full orchestra 
which were called symphonic poems, lyrics with- 
out a tune, that pretended to follow the curve of 
the words; finally church music, solemn masses 
through which stalked the apparition of the 
haughty Magyar chieftain, accompanied by 

52 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

echoes of the gipsies on the putzta (the Graner 
Mass) ; it was too much for ears attuned to the 
suave, melodious Mendelssohn. Indeed the en- 
tire Neo-German school was too exotic for Ger- 
many, Berlioz, a half mad Frenchman; Rich- 
ard Wagner, a crazy revolutionist, a fugitive from 
Saxony; and the Hungarian Liszt, half French, 
wholly diabolic — of such were the uncanny in- 
gredients of the new music. And then were there 
not Liszt and his Princess Wittgenstein at Wei- 
mar, and the crew of pupils, courtiers and Bo- 
hemians who collected at the Altenburg? De- 
cidedly these people would never do, even though 
patronised by royalty. George Eliot and her 
man Friday, proper British persons, were rather 
shocked when they visited Weimar. 

Liszt survived it all and enjoyed, notwith- 
standing the opposition of Ferdinand Hiller, 
Joseph Joachim, the Schumanns, later Brahms 
and Hanslick, the pleasure of hearing his greater 
works played, understood, and applauded. 

Looking backward in an impartial manner it 
cannot be said that the Liszt compositions have 
unduly suffered from the proverbial neglect of 
genius. A Liszt orchestral number, if not im- 
perative, is a matter of course at most symphony 
concerts. The piano music is done to death, 
especially the Hungarian Rhapsodies. Liszt has 
been ranged; the indebtedness of modern music 
to his pioneer efforts has been duly credited. 
We know that the Faust and Dante symphonies 
(which might have been called symphonic 

53 



FRANZ LISZT 

poems) are forerunners not only of much of 
Wagner, but of the later group from Saint-Saens 
to Richard Strauss. Why, then, the inevitable 
wail from the Lisztians that the Liszt music is 
not heard? Christus and the other oratorios 
and the masses might be heard oftener, and 
there are many of the sacred compositions yet 
unsung that would make some critics sit up. 
No, we are lovers of Liszt, but the martyrdom 
motive has been sounded too often. In a 
double sense a reaction is bound to come. 
The true Liszt is beginning to emerge from the 
clouds of legend, and Liszt the composer will 
be definitely placed. A little disappointment 
will result in both camps; the camp of the ultra- 
Liszt worshippers, which sets him in line with 
Beethoven and above Wagner, and the camp of 
the anti-Lisztians, which refuses him even the 
credit of having written a bar of original music. 
How Wagner would have rapped the knuckles 
of these latter; how he would have told them 
what he wrote to Liszt: "Ich bezeichne dich 
als Schopfer meiner jetzigen Stellung. Wenn 
ich komponiere und instrumentiere — denke ich 
immer nur an dich . . . deine drei letzten Parti- 
turen sollen mich wieder zum Musiker weihen 
fiir den Beginn meines zweiten Aktes [Sieg- 
fried], denn dies Studium einleiten soil." 

Did Wagner mean it all ? At least, he couldn't 
deny what is simply a matter of dates. Liszt 
preceded Wagner. Otherwise how explain that 
yawning chasm between Lohengrin and Tris- 

54 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

tan ? Liszt, an original stylist and a profounder 
musical nature than Beriioz, had intervened. 
Nevertheless Liszt learned much from Berlioz, 
and it is quite beside the mark to question 
the greater creative power of Wagner over both 
the Frenchman and the Hungarian. Wagner, 
Uike the Roman conquerors, annexed many 
provinces and made them his own. Let us drop 
these futile comparisons. Liszt was as supreme 
in his domain as Wagner in his; only the German 
had the more popular domain. His culture was 
intensive, that of Liszt extensive. The tragedy 
was that Liszt lived to hear himself denounced 
as an imitator of Wagner; butchered to make a 
Bayreuth holiday. The day after his death in 
1886 the news went abroad in Bayreuth that the 
"father-in-law of Wagner" had died; that his 
funeral might disturb the success of the current 
music festival! Liszt, who had begun his career 
with a kiss from Beethoven; Liszt, whose name 
was a flaring meteor in the sky of music when 
Wagner was starving in Paris; Liszt the path- 
breaker, meeting the usual fate of such a Moses, 
who never conquered the soil of the promised 
land, the initiator, at the last buried in foreign 
soil (he loathed Bayreuth and the Wagnerians) 
and known as the father-in-law of the man who 
eloped with his daughter and had borrowed of 
him everything from money to musical ideas. 
The gods must dearly love their sport. 

The new books devoted to Liszt, his life and 
his music, are by Julius Kapp, August Gollerich 

55 



FRANZ LISZT 

(in German), Jean Chantavoine and Calvocor- 
essi (in French), and A. W. Gottschalg's Franz 
Liszt in Weimar, a diary full of reminiscences. 
These works, ponderous in the case of the Ger- 
mans, represent the vanguard of the literature 
that is due the anniversary year. To M. Chanta- 
voine may be awarded the merit of the most sym- 
metrically told tale; however, he need not have 
repeated Janka Wohl's doubtful mot attributed 
to Liszt apropos of priestly celibacy: "Gregory 
VII was a great philanthropist." This reflects 
on the Princess Wittgenstein, and Liszt, most 
chivalric of men, would never have said any- 
thing that might present her in the light of pur- 
suing him with matrimonial designs. That she 
did is not to be denied. Dr. Kapp is often 
severe on his hero. Is any man ever a hero to 
his biographer ? He does not glorify his subject, 
and for the amiable weakness displayed by Liszt 
for princesses and other noble dames Dr. Kapp 
is sharp. The compositions are fairly judged, 
neither in the superlative key, nor condescend- 
ingly, as being of mere historic interest. There 
are over thirteen hundred, of which about four 
hundred are original. Liszt wrote too much, al- 
though he was a better self -critic than was Rubin- 
stein. New details of the quarrel with the 
Schumanns are given. The gifted pair do not 
emerge exactly in an agreeable light. Liszt it 
was who first made known the piano music of 
Robert Schumann. Clara Schumann, with the 
true Wieck provinciality, was jealous of Liszt's 

56 



HIS ART AND CHARACTER 

influence over Robert. Then came the disturb- 
ing spectre of Wagner, and Schumann could not 
forgive Liszt for helping the music of the future 
to a hearing at Weimar. The rift widened. 
Liszt made a joke of it, but he was hurt by 
Schumann's ingratitude. Alas! he was to be 
later hurt by Wagner, by Joachim, by Brahms. 
He dedicated his B-minor sonata to Schumann, 
and Schumann dedicated to him his noble Fan- 
taisie in C. After Schumann's death his widow 
brought out an edition of this fantaisie with 
the dedication omitted. The old-fashioned lady 
neither forgot nor forgave. 

We consider the Kapp biography solid. The 
best portrait of Liszt may be found in that clever 
and amusing novel by Von Wolzogen, Kraft- 
mayr. The Gollerich book chiefly consists of 
a chain of anecdotes in which the author is a 
prominent figure. Herr Kapp in a footnote at- 
tacks Herr Gollerich, denying that he was much 
with Liszt. How these Liszt pupils love each 
other! Joseffy — who was with the master two 
summers at Weimar, though he never relinquished 
his proud title of Tausig scholar — when the 
younger brilliant stars Rosenthal, first a Joseffy 
pupil, Sauer, and others cynically twitted him 
about his admiration of Liszt's playing — over 
seventy, at the time Rosenthal was with him — 
Joseffy answered: "He was the unique pianist." 
" But you were very young when you heard him" 
(1869), they retorted. "Yes, and Liszt was ten 
years younger too," replied the witty Joseffy. 

57 



FRANZ LISZT 

Gollerich relates the story of the American 
girl who threw stones at the window of the Hoff- 
gartnerei, Liszt's residence in Weimar, and when 
the master appeared above called out: "I've 
come all the way from America to hear you play." 
"Come up," said the aged magician, "I'll play 
for you," He did so, much to the scandal of 
the Liszt pupils assembled for daily worship. 
The anecdotes of Tausig and the stolen score 
of the Faust symphony (Liszt generously stated 
that the score was overlooked), are also set 
forth in the Gollerich book. 

But he, the darling of the gods, fortune fairly 
pursuing him from cradle to grave, nevertheless 
the existence of this genius was far from happy. 
His closing years were melancholy. The centre 
of the new musical life and beloved by all, he 
was a lonely, homeless, disappointed man. His 
daughter Cosima, a dweller among memories 
only, said that the music of her father did not 
exist for her; Weimar had been swallowed by 
Bayreuth, and the crowning sorrow for Liszt 
lovers is the tomb of Liszt at Bayreuth. It 
should be in his beloved Weimar. He lies in 
the shadow of his dear friend Wagner, he, the 
"father-in-law of Wagner." Pascal was right; 
no matter the comedy, the end of life is always 
tragic. Perhaps if the tragedy had come to 
Franz Liszt earlier he might have profited by 
the uses of adversity, as did Richard Wagner, 
and thus have achieved the very stars. 



58 



Ill 

THE B-MINOR SONATA AND 
OTHER PIANO PIECES 



When Franz Liszt nearly three quarters of a 
century ago made some suggestions to the Erard 
piano manufacturers on the score of increased 
sonority in their instruments, he sounded the 
tocsin of realism. It had been foreshadowed 
in dementi's Gradus, and its intellectual re- 
sultant, the Beethoven sonata, but the material 
side had been hardly realised. Chopin, who 
sang the swan-song of idealism in surpassingly 
sweet tones, was by nature unfitted to wrestle 
with the problem. The arpeggio principle had 
its attractions for the gifted Pole, who used it in 
the most novel combinations and dared the im- 
possible in extended harmonies. But the rich 
glow of idealism was over it all — a glow not 
then sicklied by the impertinences and affecta- 
tions of the Herz-Parisian school; despite the 
morbidities and occasional dandyisms of Chop- 
in's style he was, in the main, manly and sincere. 
Thalberg, who pushed to its limits scale playing 
and made an embroidered variant the end and 

59 



FRANZ LISZT 

not a means of piano playing — Thalberg, aris- 
tocratic and rej&ned, lacked dramatic blood. 
With him the well-sounding took precedence of 
the eternal verities of expression. Touch, tone, 
technique, were his trinity of gods. 

Thalberg was not the path-breaker; this was 
left for that dazzling Hungarian who flashed his 
scimitar at the doors of Leipsic and drove back 
cackling to their nests the whole brood of old 
women professors — a respectable crowd, which 
swore by the letter of the law and sniffed at the 
spirit. Poverty, chastity, and obedience were the 
obligatory vows insisted upon by the pedants of 
Leipsic; to attain this triune perfection one 
had to become poor in imagination, obedient to 
dull, musty precedent, and chaste in finger exer- 
cises. What wonder, when the dashing young 
fellow from Raiding shouted his uncouth chal- 
lenge to ears plugged by prejudice, a wail went 
forth and the beginning of the end seemed at 
hand. Thalberg went imder. Chopin never 
competed, but stood, a slightly astonished spec- 
tator, at the edge of the fray. He saw his own 
gossamer music turned into a weapon of offence; 
his polonaises were so many cleaving battle- 
axes, and perforce he had to confess that all this 
carnage of tone unnerved him. Liszt was the 
warrior, not he. 

Schumann did all he could by word and note, 

and to-day, thanks to Liszt and his followers, 

any other style of piano playing would seem 

old-fashioned. Occasionally an idealist like the 

60 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

unique De Pachmann astonishes us by his 
marvellous play, but he is a solitary survivor 
of a once powerful school and not the repre- 
sentative of an existing method. There is no 
gainsaying that it was a fascinating style, and 
modern giants of the keyboard might often 
pattern with advantage after the rococoisms of 
the idealists; but as a school pure and simple 
it is of the past. We moderns are as eclectic 
as the Bolognese. We have a craze for selec- 
tion, for variety, for adaptation; hence a pianist 
of to-day must include many styles in his per- 
formance, but the keynote, the foundation, is 
realism, a sometimes harsh realism that drives to 
despair the apostles of the beautiful in music and 
often forces them to lingering retrospection. To 
all is not given the power to summon spirits from 
the vasty deep, and thus we have viewed many 
times the mortifying spectacle of a Liszt pupil 
staggering about under the mantle of his master, 
a world too heavy for his attenuated artistic 
frame. With all this the path was blazed by the 
Magyar and we may now explore with impunity 
its once trackless region. 

Modern piano playing differs from the playing 
of fifty years ago principally in the character of 
touch attack. As we all know, the hand, fore- 
arm and upper arm are important factors now 
in tone production where formerly the finger- 
tips were considered the prime utility. Triceps 
muscles rule the big tonal effects in our times. 
Liszt discovered their value. The Viennese 
6i 



FRANZ LISZT 

pianos certainly influenced Mozart, Cramer and 
otiiers in their styles; just as Clemen ti inaugura- 
ted his reforms by writing a series of studies and 
then building himself a piano to make them pos- 
sible of performance. With variety of touch — 
tone-colour — the old rapid pearly passage, 
withal graceful school of Vienna, vanished; it 
was absorbed by the new technique. Clementi, 
Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, forced to the ut- 
most the orchestral development of the piano. 
Power, sonority, dynamic variety and novel 
manipulation of the pedals, combined with a 
technique that included Bach part playing and 
demanded the most sensational pyrotechnical 
flights over the keyboard — these were a few of 
the signs of the new school. In the giddiness 
superinduced by indulging in this heady new 
wine an artistic intoxication ensued that was for 
the moment harmful to a pure interpretation of 
the classics, which were mangled by the young 
vandals who had enlisted under Liszt's victor- 
ious standard. Colour, only colour, all the rest 
is but music! was the motto of those bold 
youths, who had never heard of Paul Verlaine. 
But time has mellowed them, robbed their 
playing of its too dangerous quality, and when the 
last of the Liszt pupils gives his — or her — last 
recital we may wonder at the charges of exag- 
gerated realism. Indeed, tempered realism is 
now the watchword. The flamboyancy which 
grew out of Tausig's attempt to let loose the 
Wagnerian Valkyrie on the keyboard has been 
62 



THE B -MINOR SONATA 

toned down into a more sober, grateful colouring. 
The scarlet waistcoat of the Romantic school is 
outworn; the brutal brilliancies and exaggerated 
orchestral effects of the realists are beginning to 
be regarded with suspicion. We comprehend 
the possibilities of the instrument and our own 
aural limitations. Wagner on the piano is ab- 
surd, just as absurd as were Donizetti and Ros- 
sini. A Liszt operatic transcription is as nearly 
obsolete as a Thalberg paraphrase. (Which 
should you prefer hearing, the Norma of Thal- 
berg or the Lucia of Liszt ? Both in their differ- 
ent ways are clever but — outmoded.) Bold is 
the man to-day who plays either in public. 

With Alkan the old virtuoso technique ends. 
The nuance is ruler now. The reign of noise 
is past. In modern music sonority, brilliancy 
are present, but the nuance is inevitable, not 
alone tonal but expressive nuance. Infinite 
shadings are to be heard where before were only 
piano, forte, and mezzo-forte. Chopin and Liszt 
and Tausig did much for the nuance; Joseffy 
taught America the nuance, as Rubinstein re- 
vealed to us the potency of his golden tones. 
"Pas la couleur, rien que la nuance," sang Ver- 
laine; and without nuance the piano is a box of 
wood, wire and steel, a co&n wherein is buried 
the soul of music. 



63 



FRANZ LISZT 



II 



"The remembrance of his playing consoles 
me for being no longer young." This sentence, 
charmingly phrased, as it is charming in senti- 
ment, could have been written by no other than 
Camille Saint-Saens. He refers to Liszt, and he 
is perhaps better qualified to speak of Liszt than 
most musicians or critics. His adoration is per- 
fectly comprehensible ; to him Liszt is the pro- 
tagonist of the school that threw off the fetters 
of the classical form (only to hamper itself with 
the extravagances of the romantics). They all 
come from Berlioz, the violent protestation of 
Saint-Saens to the contrary notwithstanding. 
However this much may be urged in the favour 
of the Parisian composer; a great movement like 
the romantic in music, painting, and literature 
simultaneously appeared in a half dozen coun- 
tries. It was in the air and evidently catching. 
Goethe summed up the literary revolution in his 
accustomed Olympian manner, saying to Ecker- 
mann: "They all come from Chateaubriand." 
This is sound criticism; for in the writings of the 
author of Atala, and The Genius of Christianity 
may be found the germ-plasm of all the later ar- 
tistic disorder; the fierce colour, bizarrerie, mor- 
bid extravagance, introspective analysis — which 
in the case of Amiel touched a brooding melan- 
choly. Stendhal was the unwilling forerunner 
of the movement that captivated the sensitive 

64 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

imagination of Franz Liszt, as it later undoubt- 
edly prompted the orphic impulses of Richard 
Wagner. 

Saint-Saens sets great store on Liszt's orig- 
inal compositions, and I am sure when the empty 
operatic paraphrases and rhapsodies are forgot- 
ten the true Liszt will shine the brighter. How 
tinkling are the Hungarian rhapsodies — now 
become cafe entertainment. And how the old 
bones do rattle. We smile at the generation that 
could adore The Battle of Prague, the Herz 
Variations, the Kalkbrenner Fantasias, but the 
next generation will wonder at us for having so 
long tolerated this drunken gipsy, who dances 
to fiddle and cymbalom accompaniment. He 
is too loud for polite nerves. Technically, the 
Liszt arrangements are brilliant and effective 
for dinner music. One may show off with them, 
make much noise and a reputation for virtuosity, 
that would be quickly shattered if a Bach fugue 
were selected as a text. One Chopin Mazurka 
contains more music than all of the rhapsodies, 
which I firmly contend are but overdressed pre- 
tenders to Magyar blood. Liszt's pompous in- 
troductions, spun-out scales, and transcendental 
technical feats are not precisely in key with the 
native wood-note wild of genuine Hungarian folk- 
music. A visit to Hungary will prove this state- 
ment. Gustav Mahler was right in affirming 
that too much gipsy has blurred the outlines of 
real Magyar music. 

I need not speak of Liszt's admirable tran- 

6S 



FRANZ LISZT 

scriptions of songs by Schubert, Schumann, 
Franz, Mendelssohn, and others; they served 
their purpose in making publicly known these 
compositions and are witnesses to the man's 
geniality, cleverness and charm. I wish only to 
speak of the compositions for solo piano com- 
posed by Liszt Ferencz of Raiding, Hungaria. 
Many I salute with the eljen! of patriotic enthu- 
siasm, and I particularly delight in quizzing the 
Liszt-rhapsody fanatic as to his knowledge of 
the Etudes — those wonderful continuations of 
the Chopin studies — of his acquaintance with 
the Annees de Pelerinage, of the Valse Oubliee, 
of the Valse Impromptu, of the Sonnets after 
Petrarch, of the Nocturnes, of the F-sharp Im- 
promptu of Ab-Irato — that etude of which most 
pianists never heard; of the Apparitions, the 
Legends, the Ballades, the brilliant Mazurka, 
the Elegier, the Harmonies Pestiques et Re- 
ligieuses, or the Concerto Patetico a la Bur- 
meister, and of numerous other pieces that con- 
tain enough music to float into glory — as Philip 
Hale would say — a dozen composers in this 
decade of the new century, [It was Max Ben- 
dix who so wittily characterised the A-major con- 
certo as "Donizetti with Orchestra." Liszt was 
very often Italianate.] 

The eminently pianistic quality of Liszt's orig- 
inal music commends it to every pianist. Joseffy 
once said that the B-minor sonata was one of 
those compositions that plays itself, it lies so 
beautifully for the hand. For me no work of 

66 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

-Liszt with the possible exception of the studies, 
is as interesting as this same fantaisie that mas- 
querades as a sonata in H moll. Agreeing with 
those who declare that they find few traces of the 
sonata form in the structure of this composi- 
tion, and also with those critics who assert the 
word to be an organic amplification of the old, 
obsolete form, and that Liszt has taken Bee- 
thoven's last sonata period as a starting-point 
and made a plunge into futurity — agreeing with 
these warring factions, thereby choking off the 
contingency of a spirited argument, I repeat that I 
find the B minor of Liszt truly fascinating music. 
What a tremendously dramatic work it is! It 
stirs the blood. It is intense. It is complex. 
The opening bars are truly Lisztian. The gloom, 
the harmonic haze, from which emerges that bold 
theme in octaves (the descending octaves Wagner 
recalled when he wrote his Wotan theme); the 
leap from the G to the A sharp below — how 
Liszt has made this and the succeeding intervals 
his own. Power there is, sardonic power, as in 
the opening phrase of the E-flat piano concerto, 
so cynically mocking. How incisively the com- 
poser traps your consciousness in the next theme 
of the sonata, with its four knocking D's. What 
follows is like a drama enacted in the nether- 
world. Is there a composer who paints the in- 
fernal, the macabre, with more suggestive real- 
ism than Liszt ? Berlioz possessed the gift above 
all, except Liszt; Raff can compass the grisly, 
and also Saint-Saens; but thin sharp flames hover 

67 



FRANZ LISZT 

about the brass, wood and shrieking strings in 
the Lisztian orchestra. 

The chorale, usually the meat of a Liszt com- 
position, now appears and proclaims the religious 
belief of the composer in dogmatic accents, and 
our convictions are swept along until after that 
outburst in C major, when follows the insincerity 
of it in the harmonic sequences. Here it surely is 
not a whole-heart belief but only a theatrical at- 
titudinising; after the faint return of the opening 
motive is heard the sigh of sentiment, of passion, 
of abandonment, which engender the suspicion 
that when Liszt was not kneeling before a cruci- 
fix he was to a woman. He blends piety and 
passion in the most mystically amorous fashion; 
with the cantando expressive in D, begins some 
lovely music, secular in spirit, mayhap intended 
by its creator for reredos and pyx. 

But the rustle of silken attire is back of every 
bar; sensuous imagery, a faint perfume of fem- 
ininity lurks in each cadence and trill. Ah! 
naughty Abbe have a care. After all thy ton- 
sures and chorales, thy credos and sackcloth, 
wilt thou admit the Evil One in the guise of a 
melody, in whose chromatic intervals lie dimpled 
cheek and sunny tress! Wilt thou allow her to 
make away with spiritual resolutions! Vade, 
retro me Sathanas! And behold it is accom- 
plished. The bold theme so eloquently pro- 
claimed at the outset is solemnly sounded with 
choric pomp and power. Then the hue and cry 
of diminished sevenths begins, and this tonal 
68 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

panorama with its swirl of intoxicating colours 
moves kaleidoscopically onward. Again the 
devil tempts the musical St. Anthony, this time 
in octaves and in A major; he momentarily suc- 
cumbs, but that good old family chorale is re- 
peated, and even if its orthodoxy is faulty in spots 
it serves its purpose; the Evil One is routed and 
early piety breaks forth in an alarming fugue 
which, like that domestic ailment, is happily 
short-winded. Another flank movement of the 
"ewig Weibliche," this time in the seductive 
key of B major, made mock of by the strong man 
of music who, in the stretta quasi presto, views 
his early disorder with grim and contrapuntal 
glee. He shakes it from him, and in the triolen 
of the bass frames it as a picture to weep or rage 
over. 

All this leads to a prestissimo finale of start- 
ling splendour. Nothing more exciting is there in 
the literature of the piano. It is brilliantly cap- 
tivating, and Liszt the Magnificent is stamped 
on every bar. What gorgeous swing, and how 
the very bases of the earth seem to tremble 
at the sledge-hammer blows from the cyclopean 
fist of this musical Attila. Then follow a few 
bars of that Beethoven-like andante, a moving 
return to the early themes, and softly the first 
lento descends to the subterranean caverns 
whence it emerged, a Magyar Wotan majes- 
tically vanishing into the bowels of a Gehenna; 
then a true Liszt chord-sequence and a still- 
ness in B major. The sonata in B minor dis- 
69 



FRANZ LISZT 

plays all of Liszt's power and weakness. It is 
rhapsodic, it is too long — infernal, not " heaven- 
ly lengths" — it is full of nobility, a drastic intel- 
lectuality, and a sonorous brilliancy. To deny it 
a commanding position in the pantheon of piano 
music would be folly. And interpreted by an 
artist versed in the Liszt traditions, such as 
Arthur Friedheim, this work compasses at times 
the sublime. 

It is not my intention to claim your attention 
for the remainder of the original compositions; 
that were indeed a terrible strain on your patience. 
In the Annees de Pelerinage, redolent of Ver- 
gilian meadows, soft summer airs shimmering 
through every bar, what is more delicious except 
Au Bord d'une Source? Is the latter not ex- 
quisitely idyllic? Surely in those years of pil- 
grimage through Switzerland, Italy, France, Liszt 
garnered much that was good and beautiful and 
without the taint of the salon or concert plat- 
form. The two Polonaises recapture the heroic 
and sorrowing spirit of Sarmatia. The first in E 
is a perennial favourite; I always hear its martial 
theme as a pattern reversed of the first theme in 
the A-flat Polonaise of Chopin. But the second 
Liszt Polonaise in C minor is the more poetic of 
the pair; possibly that is the reason why it is so 
seldom played. 

Away from the glare of gaslight this extraordi- 
nary Hungarian aspired after the noblest things. 
In the atmosphere of the salons, of the Papal 
court, and concert room, Liszt was hardly so 
70 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

admirable a character. I know of certain cries 
calling to heaven to witness that he was anointed 
of the Lord (which he was not); that if he had 
cut and run to sanctuary to escape two or more 
women we might never have heard of Liszt the 
Abbe. One penalty undergone by genius is its 
pursuit by gibes and glossaries. Liszt was no 
exception to this rule. Like Ibsen and Maeter- 
linck he has had many things read into his music, 
mysticism not forgotten. Perhaps the best es- 
timate of him is the purely human one. He 
was made up of the usual pleasing and unpleas- 
ing compound of faults and virtues, as is any 
great man, not born of a book. 

The Mephisto Valse from Lenau's Faust, in 
addition to its biting broad humour and satanic 
suggestiveness, contains one of the most volup- 
tuous episodes outside of the Tristan score. That 
halting, languourous, syncopated, theme in D 
flat is marvellously expressive, and the poco alle- 
gretto seems to have struck the fancy of Wag- 
ner, who did not hesitate to appropriate motives 
from his esteemed father-in-law when the desire 
overtook him. He certainly considered Kundry 
Liszt-wise before fabricating her scream in Par- 
sifal. 

Liszt's life was a sequence of triumphs, his 
sympathies were almost boundless, yet he found 
time to work unfalteringly and despite myriad 
temptations his spiritual nature was never wholly 
submerged. I wish, however, that he had not 
invented the piano recital and the Liszt pupil. 

71 



FRANZ LISZT 



III 



I possess, and value as a curiosity, a copy 
of Liszt's Etudes, Opus I. The edition is rare 
and the plates have been destroyed. Written 
when Liszt was fresh from the tutelage of Carl 
Czerny, they show decided traces of his schooling. 
They are not difl5cult for fingers inured to mod- 
em methods. When I first bought them I knew 
not the Etudes d' Execution Transcendentale, and 
when I encountered the latter I exclaimed at the 
composer's cleverness. The Hungarian has 
taken his opus I and dressed it up in the most 
bewildering technical fashion. He gave these 
studies appropriate names, and even to-day they 
require a tremendous technique to do them jus- 
tice. The most remarkable of the set — the one 
in F minor No. lo — Liszt left nameless, and 
like a peak it rears its head skyward, while about 
it cluster its more graceful fellows: Ricordanza, 
Feux-follets, Harmonies du Soir (Chasse-neige, 
and Paysage). The Mazeppa is a symphonic 
poem in miniature. What a superb contribu- 
tion to piano literature is Liszt's. These twelve 
incomparable studies, the three effective Etudes 
de Concert (several quite Chopinish in style and 
technique), the murmuring Waldesrauschen, the 
sparkling Gnomenreigen, the stormy Ab-Irato, 
the poetic Au Lac de Wallenstadt and Au Bord 
d'une Source, have they not all tremendously 
developed the technical resources of the instru- 
72 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

ment ? And to play them one must have fingers 
of steel, a brain on fire, a heart bubbling with 
chivalric force; what a comet-like pianist he was, 
this Magyar, who swept European skies, who 
transformed the still small voice of Chopin into 
a veritable hurricane. Nevertheless, we cannot 
imagine a Liszt without a Chopin preceding him. 

But, Liszt lost, the piano would lose its most 
dashing cavalier; while his freedom, fantasy, and 
fire are admirable correctives of the platitudes 
of the Hummel- Czerny-Mendelssohn school. 
Liszt won from his instrument an orchestral qual- 
ity. He advanced by great wing-strokes toward 
perfection, and deprived of his music we should 
miss colour, sonority, richness of tinting, and 
dramatic and dynamic contrasts. He has had a 
great following. Tausig was the first to feel his 
influence, and if he had lived longer would have 
beaten out a personal style of his own. Of the 
two we prefer Liszt's version of the Paganini 
studies to Schumann's. The Campanella is a 
favourite of well equipped virtuosi. 

In my study of Chopin reference is made to 
Chopin's obligations to Liszt. I prefer now to 
quote a famous authority on the subject, no less a 
critic than Professor Frederick Niecks, whose 
biography of Chopin is, thus far, the superior of 
all. He writes: "As at one time all ameliora- 
tions in the theory and practice of music were 
ascribed to Guido of Arezzo, so it is nowadays the 
fashion to ascribe all improvements and exten- 
sions of the pianoforte technique to Liszt, who, 

73 



FRANZ LISZT 

more than any other pianist, drew upon himself 
the admiration of the world, and though his 
pupils continued to make his presence felt even 
after the close of his career as a virtuoso. But 
the cause of this false opinion is to be sought not 
so much in the fact that the brilliancy of his 
artistic personality threw all his contemporaries 
into the shade, as in that other fact, that he 
gathered up into one web the many threads new 
and old which he found floating about during 
the years of his development. The difference 
between Liszt and Chopin lies in this, that the 
basis of the former's art is universality, that of 
the latter's, individuality. Of the fingering of 
the one we may say that it is a system, of that 
of the other that it is a manner. Probably we 
have here also touched on the cause of Liszt's 
success and Chopin's want of success as a 
teacher." 

Niecks does not deny that Liszt influenced 
Chopin. In volume I of his Frederick Chopin, 
he declares that " The artist who contributed the 
largest quotum of force to this impulse was 
probably Liszt, whose fiery passions indomitable 
energy, soaring enthusiasm, universal tastes and 
capacity of assimilation, mark him out as the 
opposite of Chopin. But, although the latter 
was undoubtedly stimulated by Liszt's style of 
playing the piano and of writing for this instru- 
ment, it is not so certain as Miss L. Ramann, 
Liszt's biographer, thinks, that this master's in- 
fluence can be discovered in many passages of 

74 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

Chopin's music which are distinguished by a 
fiery and passionate expression, and resemble 
rather a strong, swelling torrent than a gently 
gliding rivulet. She instances Nos. 9 and 12 of 
Douze Etudes, Op. 10; Nos. 11 and 12 of 
Douze Etudes, Op. 25; No. 24 of Vingt Quatre 
Preludes, Op. 28; Premier Scherzo, Op. 20; 
Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 32. All these 
compositions, we are told, exhibit Liszt's style 
and mode of feeling. Now the works composed 
by Chopin before he came to Paris and got ac- 
quainted with Liszt, comprise not only a sonata, 
a trio, two concertos, variations, polonaises, 
waltzes, mazurkas, one or more nocturnes, etc., 
but also — and this is for the question under 
consideration of great importance — most of, if 
not all, the studies of Op. 10 (Sowinski says that 
Chopin brought with him to Paris the MS. of 
the first book of his studies) and some of Op. 25; 
and these works prove decisively the inconclu- 
siveness of the lady's argument. The twelfth 
study of Opus 10 (composed in September, 1831) 
invalidates all she says about fire, passion, and 
rushing torrents. In fact, no cogent reason can 
be given why the works mentioned by her should 
not be the outcome of unaided development. 
[That is to say, development not aided in the way 
indicated by Miss Ramann.] The first Scherzo 
alone might make us pause and ask whether the 
new features that present themselves in it ought 
not to be fathered on Liszt. But seeing that 
Chopin evolved so much, why should he not also 

75 



FRANZ LISZT 

have evolved this ? Moreover, we must keep in 
mind that Liszt had, up to 1831, composed al- 
most nothing of what in after years was consid- 
ered either by him or others of much moment, 
and that his pianoforte style had first to pass 
through the state of fermentation into which 
Paganini's playing had precipitated it (in the 
spring of 1831) before it was formed; on the 
other hand, Chopin arrived in Paris with his 
portfolios full of masterpieces, and in possession 
of a style of his own as a player of his instrument 
as well as a writer for it. That both learned from 
each other cannot be doubted; but the exact 
gain of each is less easily determinable. Never- 
theless, I think I may venture to assert that what- 
ever may be the extent of Chopin's indebtedness 
to Liszt, the latter's indebtedness to the former 
is greater. The tracing of an influence in the 
works of a man of genius, who, of course, neither 
slavishly imitates nor flagrantly appropriates, is 
one of the most difficult tasks. If Miss Ramann 
had first noted the works produced by the two 
composers in question before their acquaintance 
began, and had carefully examined Chopin's 
early productions with a view to ascertain his 
capability of growth, she would have come to an- 
other conclusion, or, at least have spoken less 
confidently." 

To the above no exception may be taken ex- 
cept the reference to the B-minor Scherzo as 
possibly having been suggested by Liszt. For 
me it is most characteristic of Chopin in its per- 
76 



THE B-MINOR SONATA 

verse, even morbid, ironical humour, its original 
figuration; who but Chopin could have conceived 
that lyrical episode! Liszt, doubtless, was the 
first who introduced interlocking octaves instead 
of the chromatic scale at the close; Tausig fol- 
lowed his example. But there the matter ended. 
Once when Chopin heard that Liszt intended to 
write an account of his concerts for the Gazette 
Musicale, he said: "He will give me a little king- 
dom in his empire." This remark casts much 
illumination on the relations of the two men. 
Liszt was the broader minded of the two; Chopin, 
as Niecks points out, forgave but never forgot. 



77 



IV 
AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

I 

ROME 

The Roman candle has attracted many spir- 
itual moths. Goethe, Humboldt, Platen, Winck- 
elmann, Thorwaldsen, Gregorovius and Liszt — 
to mention only the first at hand — fluttered to 
Rome and ascribe to it much of their finer pro- 
ductivity. For Franz Liszt it was a loadstone 
of double power — the ideality of the place at- 
tracted him and its religion anchored his spir- 
itual restlessness. 

Liszt liked a broad soul-margin to his life. 
Heine touched on this side of Liszt's character 
when he wrote of him: "Speculation has the 
greatest fascination for him; and still more than 
with the interests of his art is he engrossed with 
all manner of rival philosophical investigations 
which are occupied with the solution of all great 
questions of heaven and earth. For long he 
was an ardent upholder of the beautiful Saint- 
Simonian idea of the world. Later the spiritual- 
istic or rather vaporous thoughts of Ballanche 
enveloped him in their midst; now he is enthusi- 

78 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

astic over the Republican-Catholic dogmas of a 
Lamennais who has hoisted his Jacobin cap on 
the cross . . . Heaven knows in what mental 
stall he will find his next hobby-horse!" This 
was written in 1837, and only two years after- 
ward Liszt paid his first visit to Rome. 

Based on letters and diaries of Liszt, Grego- 
rovius. Ad. Stahr, Fanny Lewald, W. Allmers, 
Cardinal Wiseman, Jul. Schnorr von Carols- 
feld, and Eugen Segnitz, a study of Franz Liszt 
in Rome may be made. 

The time spent in the Eternal City was un- 
questionably an important one in Liszt's life 
and worthy of the detailed attention given it. 
Rome in 1839 presented a contradictory picture. 
Contrasted to the pomp of the Vatican were the 
unprincipled conditions of the city itself. Bands 
of robbers infested it and the surroundings, mak- 
ing it as unsafe as an English highway during 
the glorious but rather frisky times of Jonathan 
Wild and his agile confreres. So, for instance, 
Massocia and his band kidnapped the pupils 
of the seminary in Albano, and when the de- 
manded ransom was not forthcoming defiantly 
strung up these innocents on trees flanking the 
gateways of Rome. So, too, the political free- 
dom of the city found a concession in the priv- 
ilege of Cardinal Consalvi, who permitted for- 
eign papers of every political party to be read 
openly; while the papal edict declared null and 
void all contracts closed between Christian and 
Hebrew. 

79 



FRANZ LISZT 

In matters of art things were not much 
better. The censor swung his axe in a most ir- 
responsible and, now to us, laughable manner. 
Overbeck's Holy Family was condemned be- 
cause the feet of the Madonna in it were too 
bare; Thorwaldsen's Day and Night was of- 
fensive in its nudeness; Raphael's art was an 
eyesore, and the same discriminating mind, 
Padre Piazza, would have liked to consign to 
the flames all philosophical books. 

The musical taste and standard was not el- 
evating at this time. Piccini, Paisiello, Cima- 
rosa, Sacchini, Anfossi, Sarti, Righini, Paer, and 
Rossini wrote purely for the sensual enjoyment 
of the people. 

Even the behaviour of the masses in theatres 
was defined by an edict issued by Leo XII. 
Any poor devil caught wearing his hat in the 
theatre was shown the door; if an actor inter- 
polated either gesture or word not provided for 
in the prompt-book he was sent to the galleys 
for five years; the carrying of weapons in places 
of amusement was punishable with life sentence 
in the galleys, and wounding another during a 
row earned a death verdict for the unfortunate 
one; applause and hisses were rewarded by a 
prison term from two months to half a year. 

Liszt's first visit to Rome occurred in 1839, 
and in company with the Countess d'Agoult. 
A strange mating this had been. Her salon 
was the meeting-place where enthusiastic persons 
foregathered — aesthetes, artists, and politicians. 

80 



% 



Countess Marie d'Agoult 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

Liszt became a member of this circle, and the 
impressionable young man of twenty-three was 
as so much wax in the hands of this sensation- 
mongering woman six years his senior. Against 
Liszt's wishes she had followed him to Berne, 
and there is plenty of evidence at hand that he 
assumed the inevitable responsibilities with good 
grace and treated her as his wife, but evidently 
not entirely to her satisfaction. She fancied her- 
self the muse of the young genius; but the wings 
of the young eagle she had patronized soon out- 
stripped her. 

Their years of wandering were noteworthy. 
From Paris to Berne and Geneva; then two 
trips back to Paris, where Liszt fought his key- 
board duel with Thalberg. They rested awhile 
at Nohant. entertained by George Sand, which 
they forsook for Lake Como, some flying trips 
to Milan and eventually Venice. It happened 
to be the year of the Danube flood — 1837 — 
and the call for help sent Liszt to Vienna where 
he gave benefit concerts for the sufferers. This 
accomplished, the pair returned to Venice and 
threaded their way to Rome by way of Lugano, 
Genoa, and Florence. 

Originally Liszt had no intention of con- 
certising on this trip; but he excused his ap- 
pearances on the concert platforms in the Ital- 
ian cities: "I did not wish to forget my trade 
entirely." 

The condition of music of the day in Italy 
held out no inducements or illusions to him. 



FRANZ LISZT 

He writes Berlioz that he wished to make the 
acquaintance of the principal Italian cities and 
really could hope for no benefiting influence 
from these flighty stops. But there was another 
reason why he was so little influenced, and it 
was simply that Italy of the day had nothing 
of great musical interest to offer Liszt. 

His first public appearance in Rome was 
in January, 1839. Francilla Pixis-Gohringer, 
adopted daughter of his friend Pixis and pupil 
of Sonntag and Malibran, gave a concert at 
this time, and it was here that Liszt assisted. 
After that the Romans did what ever so many 
had done before them — threw wide their doors 
to the artist Liszt. Thus encouraged he dared 
give serious recitals in face of all the Roman 
musical flippancy. He defied public taste and 
craving and gave a series of what he called in 
a letter to the Princess Belgiojoso "soliloques 
musicaux"; in these he assumed the role of 
a musical Louis XIV, and politely said: 
" le concert c'est moi!" He quotes one of his 
programmes: 

1. Overture to William Tell, performed by 
Mr. Liszt. 

2. Fantaisie on reminiscences of Puritani, 
composed and performed by the above named. 

3. Studies and Fragments, composed and 
performed by the same. 

4. Improvisation on a given theme — still by 
the same. That is all. 

This was really nothing more than a fore- 
82 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

runner of the present piano-recital. Liszt was 
the first one who ventured an evening of piano 
compositions without fearing the disgust of an 
audience. From his accounts they behaved 
very well indeed, and applauded and chatted 
only at the proper time. 

Liszt, realising that he had nothing to learn 
from the living Italians, turned to their dead; 
and for such studies his first visit to Rome 
was especially propitious. Gregory XIV, had 
opened the Etruscan Museum but two years 
before and was stocking it with the treasures 
which were being unearthed in the old cities 
of Etruria. The same pope also enlarged the 
Vatican library and took active interest in the 
mural decorations of these newly added ten 
rooms. The painters Overbeck, Cornelius, and 
Veit were kept actively employed in this city, 
and the influence of their work was not a 
trifling one on the painter colony. The dip- 
lomat Von Bunsen and the Cardinals Mezzo- 
fanti and Mai exerted their influences to spread 
general culture. 

An interesting one of Liszt's friendships, dating 
from this time, is that with Jean Auguste Domi- 
nique Ingres, director of the French Academic. 
Strolling under the oaks of the Villa Medici, 
Ingres would disentangle for his younger friend 
the confusion of impressions gathered in his 
wanderings among Rome's art treasures. Him- 
self a music lover and a musician — he played 
the violin in the theatre orchestra of his native 

83 



FRANZ LISZT 

place, Montauban, at some performances of 
Gluck's operas — Ingres admired Haydn, Mo- 
zart, Beethoven, and above all Gluck, upon 
whom he looked as the musical successor to 
iEschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Under 
such sympathetic and intelligent guidance Liszt's 
admiration for the other arts became ordered. 
After a day among the forest of statues he 
would coax his friend to take up the violin, and 
Liszt writes almost enthusiastically of his Bee- 
thoven interpretations. 

It is entirely within reason to argue that we 
owe to this new viewpoint such of Liszt's com- 
positions as were inspired by works of the other 
arts. Such, to name a few, were the Sposalizio 
and II Penseroso — by Raphael and Michelan- 
gelo — Die Hunnenschlacht — Kaulbach — and 
Danse Macabre — after Andrea Orcagna. That 
Liszt was susceptible to such impressions, even 
before, is proven by his essay Die Heihge Cacelia 
by Raphael, written earlier than this Roman trip; 
but under Ingres' hints his width of vision was 
extended, and he began to find alluring parallels 
between the fine arts — his comprehension of 
Mozart and Beethoven grew with his acquain- 
tance of the works of Raphael and Michelan- 
gelo. He compared Giovanni da Pisa, Fra Beato, 
and Francia with Allegri, Marcello, and Pa- 
lestrina; Titian with Rossini! 

What attracted Liszt principally during his 
first stay at Rome was the religion of art, as 
it had attracted Goethe before him. Segnitz 
84 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

quotes against this attitude the one of Berlioz, 
whom the ruins of Rome touched slightly, as did 
Palestrina's church music. He found the latter 
devoid of religious sentiment, and in this verdict 
he was joined by none less than Mendelssohn. 

The surroundings, the atmosphere of Rome, 
appealed to Liszt, and under them his individ- 
uality thrived and asserted itself. The scat- 
tered and often hurried impressions of this first 
visit ordered themselves gradually, but the com- 
posite whole deflected his life's currents into the 
one steady and broad stream of art. Like 
Goethe, he might have regarded his first day at 
Rome as the one of his second birth, as the one 
on which his true self came to light. The Via 
Sacra by which he left Rome led him into the 
forum of the art world. 

In June, 1839, after a stay of five months, 
Liszt, accompanied by the Countess d'Agoult, 
left Rome for the baths at Lucca. The elusive 
peace he was tracking escaped him here, and 
he wandered to the little fishing village San 
Rossore. In November of the same year he 
parted company with Italy — and also with the 
countess. The D'Agoult had romantic ideas 
of their union, in which the inevitable respon- 
sibilities of this sort of thing played no part. 
Segnitz regards the entire affair as having been 
a most unfortunate one for Liszt, and believes 
that the latter only saved himself and his entire 
artistic future by separating from the countess. 
The years of contact had formed no spiritual 

35 



FRANZ LISZT 

ties between them and the rupture was inevit- 
able. 

With her three children d'Agoult started for 
Paris there to visit Liszt's mother; later, through 
Liszt's intervention, a complete reconciliation 
with her family was effected. Although after the 
death of her mother the countess inherited a for- 
tune, Liszt continued to support the children. 

Leaving San Rossore the artist began his 
public life in earnest. It was the beginning of 
his virtuoso period and Vienna was the starting- 
point of his triumphal tournee across Europe. 
This period was an important one for develop- 
ment of piano playing, placing the latter on a 
much higher artistic plane than it had been; 
in it Liszt also inaugurated a new phase of the 
possibilities of concert giving. It was the time 
in which he fought both friend and enemy, fought 
without quarter for the cause of art. 

As a composer Liszt, during his first stay in 
Italy, 1837-40, was far from active. The Fan- 
taisie quasi Sonata apres une lecture de Dante 
and the twelve Etudes d'execution transcen- 
dante both came to life at Lake Como. There 
were besides the Chromatic Galop and the pieces 
Sposalizio, II Penseroso and Tre Sonetti di Pe- 
trarca, which became part of the Annees de 
Pelerinage (Italic). His first song, with piano 
accompaniment, Angiolin dal biondo crin, dates 
from these days. The balance of this time was 
devoted to making arrangements of melodies 
by Mercadante, Donizetti, and Rossini, and to 
86 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

finishing the piano transcriptions of the Bee- 
thoven symphonies. These and a few others 
about cover his list of compositions and arrange- 
ments. 



II 



Immediately after Liszt's separation from the 
Countess d'Agoult began a period of restless 
activity for him. The eight nomadic years dur- 
ing which he wandered up and down Europe, 
playing constantly in public, are the ones in 
which his virtuosity flourished. To-day we are 
inclined to mock at the mere mention of Liszt 
the virtuoso — we have heard far too much of 
his achievements, achievements behind which 
the real Liszt has become a warped and un- 
recognizable personality. But it was a remark- 
able tour nevertheless, and so wholesale a lesson 
in musical interpretation as Europe had never 
had before. Whenever and wherever he smote the 
keyboard the old-fashioned clay idols of piano 
playing were shattered, and however much it 
was attempted to patch them the pieces would 
not quite fit. Liszt struck the death-blow to 
unemotional playing, but he destroyed only to 
create anew: he erected ideals of interpreta- 
tion which are still honored. 

When he accepted the Weimar post of Hof- 
kapellmeister in 1847 — he had en passant in 
a term, lasting from December, 1843, to Feb- 
ruary of the following year, conducted eight 

87 



FRANZ LISZT 

successful concerts in Weimar — it looked as 
if his wild spirit of travel had dissipated itself: 
ausgetobt, as the Germans say. 

With scarcely any time modulation this ver- 
satile genius began his career of Hofkapell- 
meister, in which he topsy-turvied traditions 
and roused Weimar from the lethargy into 
which it had fallen with the fading of that won- 
derful Goethe circle. At this point the influ- 
ence of woman is again made manifest. 

Gregorovius, the great antiquarian, gives us 
a few glimpses of her in his Romischen Tage- 
biichern. He admits that her personality was 
repulsive to him, but that she fairly sputtered 
spirituality. Also that she wrote an article 
about the Sixtine Chapel for the Revue du 
Monde CatJwlique — "a brilliant article: all 
fireworks, like her speech"; finally, that "she is 
writing an essay on friendship." 

When the possibility of marriage with the 
Princess went up into thin air Liszt began con- 
templating a permanent residence in Rome. 
Here he could live more independently and 
privately than in Germany, and this was de- 
sirable, since he still had some musical prob- 
lems to solve. First of all, he turned to his 
legend of the Holy Elizabeth, completing that; 
then Der Sonnen-Hymnus des heiligen Fran- 
ziskus von Assisi was written, to say nothing of 
a composition for organ and trombone com- 
posed for one of his Weimar adherents. Fre- 
quent excursions and work so consumed his 
88 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

hours that soon we find him complaining as 
bitterly about the lack of time in Rome as in 
Weimar. 

Rome of this time was still "outside of Italy: 
the reverse side of the Papal medallions showed 
Daniel in the lion's den and Pope Pio Nono 
immersed in mysticism. The social features 
were important. Segnitz mentions "die Kol- 
nische Patrizierin Frau Sibylle Mertens-Schaafif- 
hausen, Peter Cornelius, die Dame Schopen- 
hauer," the Ottilie of Goethe. Besides the 
artists Catel and Nerenz there was Frau von 
Schwarz, who attracted Liszt. She boasted 
friendship with Garibaldi, and her salon was 
a meeting-place of the intellectual multitude. 
Liszt seems to have been king pin everywhere, 
and it is refreshing to read the curt, unsentimen- 
tal impression of him retailed by Gregorovius: 
"I have met Liszt," wrote the latter; "remark- 
able, demoniac appearance; tall, slender, long 
hair. Frau von Schwarz believes he is burned 
out, that only the walls of him remain, wherein 
a small ghostly flame flits." To add to the list 
of notables: the painter Lindemann-Frommel; 
the Prussian representatives, Graf Arnim and 
Kurt von Schlozer; King Louis I, of Bavaria, 
and the artists Riedel, Schweinfurt, Passini, and 
Feuerbach the philosopher. 

Naturally Liszt participated in the promi- 
nent church festivals and was affected by their 
glamour; it even roused him to sentimental utter- 
ance. 

89 



FRANZ LISZT 

Germany and the thoughts of it could not 
lure him away from Rome, nor could the sum- 
mer heat drive him out. The Holy Elizabeth 
was completed by August lo, 1862, and with it 
he had finished the greater part of his work as 
composer. Never did he lose interest in German 
art movements, and was ever ready with ad- 
vice and suggestions. 

A severe shock, one which sent him to bed, 
came to him about the middle of September of 
this year, when his youngest daughter, Blan- 
dine Ollivier, the wife of Louis Napoleon's war 
minister, Emile Ollivier, died. Liszt turned to 
religion and to his art for consolation; he slaved 
away at the Christus oratorio and wrote two 
psalms and the instrumental Evocatio in der 
Sixtinischen Kapelle. Invitations from London, 
Weimar, and Budapest could not budge him 
from Rome; deeper and deeper he became inter- 
ested in the wonders and beauties of his re- 
ligion. 

The following year — 1863 — finds him hard 
at work as ever. His oratorio is not achieving 
great progress, but he is revising his piano ar- 
rangements of the Beethoven Symphonies. In 
the spring he changes his quarters and moves 
into the Cloister Madonna del Rosario, in which 
he had been offered several rooms. These new 
lodgings enchant him. Situated on the Monte 
Mario, the site commanded a view of Rome and 
the Campagna, the Albano Mountains and the 
River Tiber. So Signer Commendatore Liszt, 

90 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

the friend of Padre Theiner, is living in a cloister 
and the religious germs begin to sprout in this 
quiet surrounding. Liszt esteemed the priest 
highly as an educated man and admired his 
personality. Gregorovius, on the other hand, 
could pump up no liking at all for the hermit- 
like Padre, discovered him dry and judged his 
writings and philosophy as dry, archaic stuff. 

In Itahan politics and Italian music Liszt 
found nothing to attract him. The latter was 
crude, as regards composition, and generally 
resolved itself into Drehorgel-Lyrik. The pi- 
ano was at that time not an Italian object of 
furniture, and in the churches they still served 
up operatic music with the thinnest religious 
varnish. In the salons one seldom heard good 
music, so that Liszt, through his pupils Sgam- 
bati, Berta, and others was able to work some 
reform in these matters. 

On July II, 1862, the tongue of all Rome 
was wagging: Pope Pius IX had paid Liszt a 
visit at the Cloister Santa Maria del Rosario. 
Liszt recounts that His Holiness had stayed with 
him about half an hour, during which time the 
pianist had played for him on the harmonium 
and on the little working piano. After that the 
Pope had spoken earnestly to him and begged 
him to strive for the heavenly, even in earthly 
matters, and to prepare himself for the eternal 
sounding harmonies by means of the passing 
earthly ones. 

Liszt was the first artist who had been hon- 

91 



FRANZ LISZT 

ored thus. A few days later the Pope granted 
him an audience in the Vatican, when he pre- 
sented Liszt with a cameo of the Madonna. 

Segnitz quotes from two of Liszt's letters in 
which he voices his religious sentiments, and 
hopes that eventually his bones may rest in 
Roman earth. 

Rather a remarkable phase of Liszt now was 
that he tried with might and main to live 
down and forget his so-called " Glanzperiode," 
the one of his virtuosity. An invitation from 
Cologne and also one from St. Petersburg to 
play and display once more "that entrancing 
tone which he could coax out of the keys" 
aroused his wrath. He asks, is he never to be 
taken more seriously than as a pianist, is he 
not worthy of recognition as a musician, a com- 
poser? On the other hand, nothing flattered 
him as much as when an Amsterdam society 
performed his Graner Messe and sent him a 
diploma of honorary membership. Further- 
more, he derived much encouragement from an 
article in the Neue Zeitschrift fiir Musik, writ- 
ten by Heinrich Porges, in which Liszt's com- 
positions were seriously discussed. 

Liszt found time to revise the four Psalms, 13 
— this was his favourite one — 18, 23, 137; and 
during this year he also composed for the piano 
Alleluja, Ave Maria, Waldesrauschen, Gnomen- 
reigen, the two legends. Die Vogelpredigt and 
Der heilige Franz von Paula auf den Wogen 
schreitend; then the organ variations on the 
92 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

Bach theme Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen, and 
the Papsthymus. He again took up his former 
project of making piano arrangements of the 
Beethoven quartets. 

The year after this one was remarkable for 
the facts that Liszt was coaxed to play in public 
on the occasion of a benefit for the Peter's 
Pence, and that he participated in the Karlsruhe 
music festival. He left Rome in August and 
journeyed first to St. Tropez to visit his daugh- 
ter's grave; then to Karlsruhe. After this he 
went to Munich and visited Hans and Cosima 
von Billow on the way to Weimar. Finally a 
trip to Paris to see his aged mother, and he re- 
turned to Rome at the end of October. Besides 
working on his oratorio and making some piano 
transcriptions, he composed only two new num- 
bers, a litany for organ and a chorus with organ 
accompaniment. 

Two public appearances in Rome as pianist 
occurred during the spring of 1865, and then, 
to the surprise of many, on April 25, Liszt took 
minor orders of priesthood, forsook the Cloister 
and made his abode in the Vatican next to 
the rooms of his priestly friend Monseigneur 
Hohenlohe. 

Gregorovius writes of this appearance of 
Liszt as the virtuoso: "He played Die Auf- 
forderung zum Tanz and Erlkonig — a queer 
adieu to the world. No one suspected that 
already he carried his abbe's socks in his 

93 



FRANZ LISZT 

pockets. . . . Now he wears the cloaklet of 
the abbe, lives in the Vatican, and, as Schlozer 
tells me, is happy and healthy. This is the end 
of the genial virtuoso, the personality of a sov- 
ereign. I am glad that I heard Liszt play once 
more, he and his instrument seemed to be grown 
together — a piano-centaur. " 

As we look back at the step now and are 
able to weigh the gradual influence which assert- 
ed itself on Liszt the act seems to have been 
an inevitable one. At the time, however, it was 
more or less unexpected. 

He assures Breitkopf & Hartel that his old 
weakness for composition has not deserted him, 
that he must commit to paper some of the won- 
derful things which were spooking about in his 
head. And the public? Well, it regretted that 
Liszt was wasting his time writing such dreadful 
"Tonwirrwarr." Liszt smiled ironically — and 
continued to compose. 

His patriotism sent him travelling once more 
— this year to Pesth, where he conducted his 
arrangement of the Rakoczy March and the 
Divine Comedy. He returned to Rome and 
learned that his friend Hohenlohe was about 
to be made cardinal, an event which had its 
bearing on his stay in the Vatican. 

Liszt moved back to the Cloister after Hohen- 
lohe had given up his quarters in the Vatican 
for a cardinal's house. This year — 1866 — 
is also a record of travel. After he had con- 
ducted his Dante Symphony in Rome — and 

94 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

the natives found it "inspired but formless" — 
he went to Paris to witness a performance of 
his Mass. Report had preceded him that he 
was physically a wreck, and he delighted in 
showing himself to prove the falsehood of the 
rumour. And partly to display his mental ac- 
tivity he began theological studies, so that he 
might pass his examination and take higher 
orders. 

In addition to his Paris trip he also wandered 
to Amsterdam to hear his Mass once more. Im- 
mediately after his return to Rome he completed 
the Christus oratorio and began work on the 
arrangements of the Beethoven quartets. He 
soon found that he had attacked an impossible 
task. "I failed where Tausig succeeded," he 
lamented; and then explained that Tausig had 
been wise enough to select only such movements 
as were available for the piano. 

His compositions this year were not very 
numerous — some piano extracts out of his ora- 
torio and sketches for the Hungarian Corona- 
tion Mass. Politics were throwing up dense 
clouds of dust in Rome, the Papal secular power 
was petering out, and in consequence Liszt, who 
hated politics, was compelled to change his res- 
idence again, moving this time to the old cloister 
Santa Francesca Romana. Here he met his 
friends weekly on Friday mornings, and be- 
sides animated conversation there was much 
chamber music to be heard. 

95 



FRANZ LISZT 

The Hungarian Mass was finished early in 
1867, and Liszt went to Pesth, where he con- 
ducted it with much success when Francis 
Joseph was made King of Hungary. Then he 
appeared at the Wartburg Festival, and on his 
return trip stopped at Lucerne to greet Wagner. 
After a short stay at Munich, with Cosima and 
Hans von Biilow, he found himself once more in 
Rome and was allowed a few months of rest. 
Besides the Hungarian Mass he composed this 
year a Funeral March on the occasion of Maxi- 
milian of Mexico's death — it appeared later 
as the sixth of the third collection: Annees de 
P^lerinage. His piano transcriptions were con- 
fined to works by Verdi and Von Biilow, and as 
a souvenir of the days passed with Wagner at 
Triebschen he transcribed Isolde's Liebestod. 

The social features of his stay in Rome were 
becoming unbearable, and Liszt could only com- 
mand privacy by being rude to the persistent 
ones. Several little excursions out of Rome dur- 
ing the spring were followed by a long journey 
in the summer with his friend Abbe Solfa- 
nelli. First to a place of pilgrimage; then to 
the city of Liszt's patron saint, Assisi, and from 
there to Loreto. When Liszt re-entered Rome 
he found the social life so exigent that he was 
driven to the stillness of the Campagna, and 
lived for some time in the Villa d'Este. This 
— 1868 — was his last year at Rome, for the 
middle of January of the following year found 
him settled in Weimar again. Although he was 
96 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

still spared many years in which to work, yet 
the eve of his life was upon him. If he had 
hoped to find finally in Weimar homely rest and 
peace he was doomed to disappointment. He 
remained a wanderer to the end of his days. 

There remains to be made a mention of his 
compositions during his last year at Rome. 
Principal among these was the Requiem dedi- 
cated to the memory of his deceased mother and 
his two children, Daniel and Blandine; then 
three church compositions and the epilogue to 
his Tasso, Le Triomphe du Tasse, and the 
usual transcriptions for the piano. 

Whether or not Liszt's interest in matters re- 
ligious abated is not made very clear. So much 
is certain that his plans for taking higher orders 
came to nothing. Was the Church after all a dis- 
appointment to him? One recalls his childish 
delight when first he was created Abb^. Then he 
wrote Hohenlohe: "They tell me that I wear 
my soutane as though I always had worn one." 

The Hungarian Government elected the Ahh6 
honorary president of the Landes Musikakade- 
mie in 1873. This gave Liszt's wanderings still 
a third objective point, Budapest. 

In Weimar his time was now devoted more to 
teaching than to composing, and the Liszt pupils 
began to sprout by the gross. The absurd senti- 
mentality which clings about this period has 
never been condemned sufficiently. Read this 
entry in the note-book of Gregorovius and draw 

97 



FRANZ LISZT 

at least a few of your own conclusions: "Dined 
with Liszt at Weimar. He was very lovable, 
made up to me and hoped at parting that I 
would give him my confidence. This would be 
very difl&cult, as we have not one point in com- 
mon. He has grown very old; his face is all 
wrinkled; yet his animation is very attractive. 
The Countess Tolstoy told me yesterday that 
an American lady living here had stripped the 
covering off a chair on which Liszt had sat, had 
had it framed and now it hung on her wall. 
She related this to Liszt, who at first seemed 
indignant and then asked if it were really true! 
If such a man does not despise mankind then 
one must give him great credit for it." 

Still Liszt fluttered to Rome from time to 
time. '' If it had not been for music I should 
have devoted myself entirely to the church and 
would have become a Franciscan; It is in error 
that I am accused of becoming a 'frivolous 
Abb6' because of external reasons. On the con- 
trary, it was my most innermost wish which led 
me to join the church that I wished to serve" 
he said. 

During these later visits he took up his abode 
in the Hotel d'Alibert. His rooms were fur- 
nished as plainly as possible — in the one a bed 
and a writing-desk, and the second one, his re- 
ception and class-room, held a grand piano. 
Some of his pupils lived at the same hotel — 
Stradal, Ansorge, Gollerich, Burmeister, Staven- 
hagen, and Madamoiselle Cognetti. 
98 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

Liszt's daily mode of life is rather intimate- 
ly described. He arose at four in the morning 
and began composing, which he continued until 
seven. His pupils would drop in to greet him 
and be dismissed kindly with a cigar. After 
a second breakfast he attended early mass in 
the San Carlo Church, where he was accom- 
panied by Stradal; then back to his rooms, and 
after an hour's rest he would work or pay some 
visits. 

His noon meal was taken regularly with the 
Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein, who now lived a 
retired life and devoted herself to religious 
studies. These visits brought to Liszt much 
peace and to the Princess happiness; they were 
still devoted to each other. After this meal 
Liszt returned to his quarters and rested. Only 
on every other day he taught. The pupil played 
the composition of his own choice and Liszt's 
criticisms would follow. Muddy playing drove 
him frantic, and he often told his pupils to 
"wash their dirty linen at home" ! He taught 
liberal use of the pedal, but with utmost discre- 
tion. The one thing he could not abide was 
pedantic performance: "Among artists there is 
not the division of professors and non-professors. 
They are only artists — or they are not." 

Occasionally he would play for a small assem- 
bly — once he favoured the few with the D-flat 
Etude, and the crossing left hand struck false 
notes repeatedly. He played the piece to the 
end, and then atoned for his bulls by adding an 

99 



FRANZ LISZT 

improvisation on the theme which moved the 
assembly to tears! 

During these class hours a small circle of in- 
timate ones was usually invited. The Princess 
Wittgenstein was noticeably absent; but there 
were the Princess Minghetti, the Countess Re- 
viczy — to whom the Fifth Rhapsody is dedi- 
cated — and several barons and artists — Alma 
Tadema among the latter. Depend upon it, 
wherever Liszt pitched his tent there were some 
titles in the neighbourhood. From two until six 
in the afternoon these lessons lasted. Then 
the small audience withdrew and Liszt played 
cards with his pupils for one hour. 

About eight in the evening Liszt would take 
himself to the house of the Princess Wittgen- 
stein and sup with her. This meal consisted 
principally of ham, says the biographer, and 
Hungarian red wine. By nine he had usually 
retired. 

Stradal seems to have been one of his favour- 
ites and accompanied Liszt on some of his little 
excursions to the beloved cloisters, San Onofrio 
and Monte Mario, then into the Valle dell' In- 
ferno. Here under the Tasso oak Liszt spoke 
of the life of the great poet and compared his 
own fate to that of Tasso. '* They will not carry 
me in triumph across the Capitol, but the time 
will come when my works will be acknowledged. 
This will happen too late for me — I shall not 
be among you any more," he said. Not an un- 
true prophecy. 

lOO 



AT ROME, WEIMAR, BUDAPEST 

During these trips he gave alms freely. His 
servant Mischka filled Liszt's right vest pocket 
with lire and the other one with soldi every morn- 
ing. And Liszt always strewed about the silver 
pieces, returning to his astonished servant with 
the pocket full of copper coins untouched. 

Rudolf Louis, another Liszt biographer, tells 
an amusing story which fits in the time when 
Pius the Ninth visited Liszt in the cloister. 
While most of the living composers contented 
themselves with envying Liszt, old Rossini tried 
to turn the incident to his own advantage. He 
begged Liszt to use his influence in securing 
the admission of female voices in service of the 
church because he — Rossini — did not care to 
hear his churchly compositions sung by croak- 
ing boys' voices! Of course nothing came of 
this request. 

The incident itself — the Pope's visit to Liszt 
— caused much gossip at the time. It was even 
reported that Pio Nono had called Liszt "his 
Palestrina." 

M. Louis also makes a point which most 
Wagner biographers seem to have overlooked 
in their hurry to make Richard appear a very 
moral man, namely, that the little Von Bulow- 
Cosima-Wagner affair did not please Papa Liszt 
at all. Truce was patched up only in 1873, 
when Liszt's "Christus" performance at Weimar 
was witnessed by Wagner. Bayreuth of '76 ce- 
mented the friendship once more. 

Read this paragraph from the pen of the 

lOI 



FRANZ LISZT 

cynical Gregorovius; it refers to the Roman 
performance of the Dante Symphony in the Gal- 
leria Dantesca when the Abbe reaped an after- 
math of homage: "The Ladies of Paradise 
(?!) poured flowers on him from above; Frau 
L. almost murdered him with a big laurel 
wreath! But the Romans criticised the music 
severely as being formless. There is inspira- 
tion in it, but it does not reach (?!). Liszt left 
for Paris. The day before his departure I 
breakfasted with him at Tolstoy's ; he played 
for a solid hour and allowed himself to be per- 
suaded to do this by the young Princess Nadine 
Hellbig — Princess Shahawskoy — a woman of 
remarkably colossal figure, but also of remark- 
able intelligence." 



I02 



V 
AS COMPOSER 

Richard Wagner wrote to Liszt July 20, 
1856, concerning his symphonic poems: 

"With your symphonic poems I am now 
quite familiar. They are the only music I have 
anything to do with at present, as I cannot 
think of doing any work of my own while un- 
dergoing medical treatment. Every day I read 
one or the other of your scores, just as I would 
read a poem, easily and without hindrance. 
Then I feel every time as if I had dived into a 
crystalline depth, there to be all alone by my- 
self, having left all the world behind, to live for 
an hour my own proper life. Refreshed and 
invigorated, I then come to the surface again, 
full of longing for your personal presence. Yes, 
my friend, you have the power! You have the 
power P^ 

And later (December 6, 1856): "I feel thor- 
oughly contemptible as a musician, whereas you, 
as I have now convinced myself, are the greatest 
musician of all times." Wagner, too, could be 
generous and flattering. He had praised the 
piano sonata; Mazeppa and Orpheus were his 
favourites among the symphonic poems. 

103 



FRANZ LISZT 

Camille Saint-Saens was more discriminating 
in his admiration; he said: 

"Persons interested in things musical may 
perhaps recall a concert given many years ago 
in the hall of the Theatre Italien, Paris, under 
the direction of the author of this article. The 
programme was composed entirely of the or- 
chestral work of Franz Liszt, whom the world 
persists in calling a great pianist, in order to 
avoid acknowledging him as one of the greatest 
composers of our time. This concert was con- 
siderably discussed in the musical world, strictly 
speaking, and in a lesser degree by the general 
public. Liszt as a composer seemed to many 
to be the equal of Ingres as a violinist, or 
Thiers as an astronomer. However, the pub- 
lic, who would have come in throngs to hear Liszt 
play ten bars on the piano, as might be ex- 
pected, manifested very little desire to hear the 
Dante Symphony, the Berges a la crecJte and 
Les Mages, symphonic parts of Christus, and 
other compositions which, coming from one less 
illustrious, but playing the piano fairly well, 
would have surely aroused some curiosity. We 
must also state that the concert was not well ad- 
vertised. While the "Spanish Student" mo- 
nopolized all the advertising space and posters 
possible, the Liszt concert had to be satisfied 
with a brief notice and could not, at any price, 
take its place among the theatre notices. 

" Several days later, a pianist giving a concert 
at the Itahen, obtained this favour. Theatres 
104 



AS COMPOSER 

surely offer inexplicable mysteries to simple mor- 
tals. The name of Liszt appeared here and 
there in large type on the top row of certain post- 
ers, where the human eye could see it only by 
the aid of the telescope. But, nevertheless, our 
concert was given, and not to an empty hall. 
The musical press, at our appeal, kindly as- 
sisted; but the importance of the works on which 
they were invited to express an opinion seemed to 
escape them entirely. They considered, in gen- 
eral, that the music of Liszt was well written, 
free from certain peculiarities they expected to 
find in it, and that it did not lack a certain 
charm. That was all. 

"If such had been my opinion of the works 
of Liszt, I certainly should not have taken the 
trouble to gather together a large orchestra and 
rehearse two weeks for a concert. Moreover, I 
should like to say a few words of these works, 
so little known, whose future seems so bright. 
It is not long since orchestral music was con- 
fined to but two forms — the symphony and the 
overture. Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven had 
never written anything else; who would have 
dared to do other than they? Neither Weber, 
Mendelssohn, Schubert, nor Schumann. Liszt 
did dare." 

Liszt understood that to introduce new forms 
he must cause a necessity to be felt, in a word, 
produce a motive for them. He resolutely en- 
tered on the path which Beethoven, with the 
Pastoral and Choral Symphonies, and Berlioz, 

105 



FRANZ LISZT 

with the Symphonic Fantastique and Harold in 
Italy, had suggested rather than opened, for they 
had enlarged the compass of the symphony, but 
had not transformed it, and it was Liszt who 
created the symphonic poem. 

This brilliant and fecund creation will be to 
posterity one of Liszt's greatest titles to glory, 
and when time shall have effaced the luminous 
trace of this greatest pianist who has ever lived 
it will inscribe on the roll of honour the name of 
the emancipator of instrumental music. 

Liszt not only introduced into the musical 
world the symphonic poem, he developed it him- 
self; and in his own twelve poems he has shown 
the chief forms in which it can be clothed. 

Before taking up the works themselves, let us 
consider the form of which it is the soul, the prin- 
ciple of programme music. 

To many, programme music is a necessarily 
inferior genre. Much has been written on this 
subject that cannot be understood. Is the music, 
in itself, good or bad ? That is the point. The 
fact of its being "programme" or not makes it 
neither better not worse. It is exactly the same 
in painting, where the subject of the picture, 
which is everything to the vulgar mind, is noth- 
ing or little to the artist. The reproach against 
music, of expressing nothing in itself without the 
aid of words, applies equally to painting. 

To the artist, programme music is only a pre- 
text to enter upon new ways, and new effects 
demand new means, which, by the way, is very 

io6 



AS COMPOSER 

little desired by orchestra leaders and kapell- 
meisters who, above all, love ease and tranquil 
existence. I should not be surprised to discover 
that the resistance to works of which we speak 
comes not from the public, but from orchestra 
leaders, little anxious to cope with the difl&culties 
of every nature which they contain. However, 
I will not affirm it. 

p" The compositions to which Liszt gave the name 
symphonic poem are twelve in number: 

1. Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, after 
Victor Hugo. 

2. Tasso, Lamento and Trionfo. 
-3. Les Preludes, after Lamartine. 

4. Orphde. 

5. Promdth^e. 

6. Mazeppa. 

7. Fest-Klange. 

8. H^roide fun^bre. 

9. Hungaria. 
— 10. Hamlet. 

11. La bataille des Huns, after Kaulbach. 

12. L'ideal, after Schiller. 

The symphonic poem in the form in which 
Liszt has given it to us, is ordinarily an ensemble 
of different movements depending on each other, 
and flowing from a principal ideal, blending into 
each other, and forming one composition. The 
plan of the musical poem thus understood may 
vary infinitely. To obtain a great unity, and at 
the same time the greatest variety possible, Liszt 
most often chooses a musical phrase, which he 
107 



FRANZ LISZT 

transforms by means of artifices of rhythm, to 
give it the most diverse aspects and cause it to 
serve as an expression of the most varied senti- 
ments. This is one of the usual methods of 
Richard Wagner, and, in my opinion, it is the 
only one common to the two composers. In 
style, in use of harmonic resources and instrumen- 
tation, they differ as widely as two contemporary 
artists could differ, and yet really belong to the 
same school." 



THE BERG SYMPHONY 

"Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne" — or, 
as it is more familiarly known, "Die Bergsym- 
phonie" — is ranked among the earliest of Liszt's 
symphonic works. The first sketches of this 
symphonic poem were made as early as 1833-35, 
but they were not orchestrated until 1849, and 
the composition had its first hearing in Weimar 
in 1853. 

A German enthusiast says this work is the first 
towering peak of a mountain chain, and that 
here already — in the first of the list of Sym- 
phonic Poems — the mastery of the composer 
is indubitably revealed. The subject is not a 
flippant one, by any means: it touches on the 
relation of man to nature — das Weltratsel. 
Inspiration came directly from Victor Hugo's 
poem, " Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne." The 
subject is that of Nature's perfection contrasted 
to Man's misery: 

108 



AS COMPOSER 

Die Welt ist volkommen iiberall, 

Wo der Mensch nicht hinkommt mit seiner Qual. 

Only when one withdraws from the hurdy- 
gurdy trend of life, only from the height of moun- 
tain does one see Truth in perspective. This 
is "What one hears on the Mountain." 

Zuerst vermorr'ner, unermess'ner Larm, 
Undeutlich wie der Wind in dichten Baumen, 
Voll klarer Tone, siissen Lispelns, sanft 
Wie'n Abendlied, und stark wie Waffenklirren. 

Es war ein Tonen, tief und unausprechlich, 
Das flutend Kreise zog rings um die Welt 
Und durch die Himmel . . . 

Die Welt, Gehiillt in diese Symphonie, 
Schwamm wie in Luft, so in der Harmonic. 

This is the key-note to the introductory meas- 
ures of Liszt's work. Out of the sombre roll of 
the drum — which continues as a ground tone 
— the different instruments assert themselves. 
Muted strings imitate the rush of the sea; horns 
and woodwind hint at the battling of elements in 
chaos, while the violins and harp swerve peace- 
fully aloft in arpeggios. The oboe chants sanft 
wie'n Abendlied, the beautiful melody of peace- 
ful idyllic nature. After this impression be- 
comes a mood Liszt resumes the poetic narrative 
and individualises the two voices: 

Vom Meer die eine; wie ein Sang von Ruhm und Gliick, 

Die and're hob von uns'rer Erde sich, 

Sie war voll Trauer: das Gerausch der Menschen. 

109 



FRANZ LISZT 

The voice of Man is the first to be heard. It 
obtrudes itself even while the violins are preach- 
ing earthly peace, and eventually embroils them 
in its cry of discontent. All this over the pedal 
point of worldly noises. 

There is a sudden pause, and in the succeeding 
maestoso episode the second voice is heard — • 
Nature's Hymn: 

. Der pracht'ge Ocean ... 

Liess eine friedliche frohe Stimme horen, 
Sang, wie die Harfe singt in Sion's Tempeln, 
Und pries der Schopfung Schonheit. 

Here there is composure and serenity, which 
diminishes to a tender piano in string harmonics. 
But in the woodwind a dissenting theme appears 
from time to time : Man and his torments invade 
this sanctity of peace. His cry grows louder, 
and one hears in it the anguish of the pursued 
one. The strings forsake their tranquil har- 
monics and resolve themselves into a troublous 
tremolo, while the clarinettes, in a new theme, 
question this intrusion. Meanwhile the misery 
of Man gains the upper hand, and in the fol- 
lowing Allegro con moto there sounds all the 
fury of a wild chase: 

Ein Weinen, Kreischen, Schmahen and Verfluchen 
Und Hohn und Lasterung und wiist' Geschrei 
Taucht aus des Menschenlarmes Wirbelwogen. 

The orchestra is in tumult, relieved only by a 
cry of agony coming from Man; even the sea 
no 



AS COMPOSER 

theme is tossed about, and the Motif of Nature 
appears in mangled form. This fury lashes it- 
self out by its own violence, and after the strings 
once more echo the cry of despair all is silent. 
Two light blows of the tam-tam suggest the fear 
which follows upon such a display of tempes- 
tuous terror, 

. , . warum man hier ist, was 

Der Zweck von allem diesen endlich, 

Und warum Gott . . , 

Bestandig einet zu des Liedes Masston 

Sang der Natur mit seiner Menschen Schreinen, 

This Warum is asked dismally, and as an an- 
swer the theme of Nature reappears in its bright- 
est garb. Question and answer succeed each 
other, and are stilled by the recurring cry of 
Man until a final Why is followed by a full stop. 

The poet, weary of this restlessness, is search- 
ing for the consolation of quietude; and here — 
as might be expected of Liszt — comes the 
thought of religion shown by the Andante re- 
ligioso. It is here, too, in the realm of religious 
peace that the two antagonistic voices are recon- 
ciled; they interweave, cross and are melted, one 
in the other. 

This, the most intricate and longest part of the 
score, was employed by Liszt to show his instru- 
mental mastery. The two principal themes — 
the two voices — are made to adjust with great 
skill, and are then sounded simultaneously to 
prove their striving after unity. 

Ill 



FRANZ LISZT 

The poet is almost convinced of this equalisa- 
tion, when, without warning and with the force 
of the full orchestra, brilliantly employed, a new 
theme appears. This is repeated with even 
greater frenzy of utterance, and usurps the theme 
of Man and that of Nature. The whole is the 
idea of Faith, at which the poet now has arrived. 
A deep satisfaction silences every sound — the 
clashing of the elements ceases and the last sigh 
breathes itself out. Once more the plaintive 
"Why" is heard, and resolves itself in a remi- 
niscence of Man's fury. The trumpets quiet 
all by intoning that sacrosanct Andante religi- 
oso, which concludes in a mysterious chord 
through which the notes of the harp thread them- 
selves. The theme of Nature's Hymn returns 
pizzicato in the basses, and is answered by harp 
arpeggios and chords in the brass. A few taps 
of the tympani, with which the composition ends, 
give the ring of finality. 

Arthur Hahn believes that this symphonic 
poem offers a solution to the discord of the uni- 
verse; that the ending with the two tympani taps 
and the hollow preceding chords suggest a possi- 
ble return of the storm. Liszt made numerous 
sketches for this work two decades before its 
composition. 



112 



AS COMPOSER 



TASSO 



For the Weimar centennial anniversary of 
Goethe's birth, August 28, 1849, Liszt composed 
his Tasso : Lamento e Trionfo. And this stands 
second in order of his symphonic poems. At 
the Weimar festival the work preceded Goethe's 
Tasso, being played as an overture. 

When the first part of this Tasso symphonic 
poem was written — there are two parts, as you 
will see later — Liszt was not yet bold as a sym- 
phonic poet, for he thought it necessary to define 
the meaning of his work in words and thus ex- 
plain his music. 

Liszt's preface to Tasso is as follows: "I 
wished to define the contrast expressed in the 
title of the work, and it was my object to de- 
scribe the grand antithesis of the genius, ill-used 
and misunderstood in life, but in death sur- 
rounded with a halo of glory whose rays were to 
penetrate the hearts of his persecutors. Tasso 
loved and suffered in Ferrara, was avenged in 
Rome, and lives to this day in the popular songs 
of Venice. These three viewpoints are insepa- 
rably connected with his career. To render them 
musically I invoke his mighty shadow, as he 
wanders by the lagoons of Venice, proud and 
sad in countenance, or watching the feasts at 
Ferrara, where his master-works were created. 
I followed him to Rome, the Eternal City, which 
bestowed upon him the crown of glory, and in 
him canonised the martyr and the poet. 

"3 



FRANZ LISZT 

" Lamento e Trionfo — these are the con- 
trasts in the fate of the poet, of whom it was said 
that, although the curse might rest upon his life, 
a blessing could not be wanting from his grave. 
In order to give to my idea the authority of liv- 
ing fact, I borrowed the form of my tone pic- 
ture from reality, and chose for its theme a mel- 
ody to which, three centuries after the poet's 
death, I have heard Venetian gondoliers sing 
the first strophes of his Jerusalem: 

Canto I'armi pietose e'l Capitano, 
Che'l gran Sepolcro liber5 di Cristo. 

"The motif itself has a slow, plaintive cadence 
of monotonous mourning; the gondoliers, how- 
ever, by drawling certain notes, give it a peculiar 
colouring, and the mournfully drawn out tones, 
heard at a distance, produce an eflfect not dis- 
similar to the reflection of long stripes of fading 
light upon a mirror of water. This song once 
made a profound impression on me, and when I 
attempted to illustrate Tasso musically, it re- 
curred to me with such imperative force that I 
made it the chief motif for my composition. 

"The Venetian melody is so replete with in- 
consolable mourning, with bitter sorrow, that it 
suffices to portray Tasso's soul, and again it 
yields to the brilliant deceits of the world, to the 
illusive, smooth coquetry of those smiles whose 
slow poison brought on the fearful catastrophe, 
for which there seemed to be no earthly recom- 
114 



AS COMPOSER 

pense, but which was eventually, clothed in a 
mantle of brighter purple than that of Alfonso." 

Following this came — in later years, it is true 
— a strange denial from Liszt himself. He ad- 
mitted that when finally his Tasso composi- 
tion began to take form Byron's Tasso was 
nearer his heart and thoughts than Goethe's. 
"I cannot deny," he writes, "that when I re- 
ceived the order for an overture to Goethe's 
drama the chief and commanding influence on 
the form of my work was the respectful sympathy 
with which Byron treated the manes of the great 
poet." 

Naturally this influence could not have ex- 
tended beyond the Lamento since Byron's poem 
is only the Lament of Tasso, and has no share 
in the Trionfo. Now the anti-programmites 
could make a very strong case out of this in- 
cident, and probably would have done so long 
before this if they had known or thought about 
it. But then this question of the fallibiHty of 
programme music is an eternal one. Was it 
not the late Thayer, constantly haunting detail 
and in turn haunted by it, who could not abide 
Beethoven's Coriolanus in his youth because 
he only knew the Shakespeare drama and could 
not fit the Beethoven overture to it simply be- 
cause it would not be fitted? And now some 
commentators declare that Beethoven must have 
known the Shakespeare work, that he could not 
have found his inspiration in the forgotten play 
of Von Collin. 

"5 



FRANZ LISZT 

Liszt's Tasso opens with a descending octaved 
theme in C minor, meant to depict the depressed 
mood and oppressed station of the poet. Wag- 
ner has made mention of Liszt's particular apti- 
tude for making such musical moments pregnant 
with meaning. Here it expresses the tragedy of 
the poet's life, and a second theme is his ago- 
nised cry. Gradually this impatience is fanned 
to fury, and culminates in a wild outbreak of 
pain. The tragic first theme, now given fortis- 
simo by the full orchestra and long sustained, 
spreads its shadow over all. The characteristic 
rehearsal of the themes concludes the introduc- 
tion to the work. 

With an adagio the principal motif is heard in 
full for the first time; it is the boat song of the 
Venetian gondoliers, and embraces in part the 
first tragic theme with which the composition 
opened. You recall what Liszt said about the 
expressiveness of this sombre song. He has 
heightened its gloom by the moody orchestration 
in which he has embedded it. 

As a contrast comes the belief in self which 
forces its way to the soul of the poet, and this 
comes to our ears in the form of the noble main 
theme — the Tasso motif — which now sounds 
brilliantly in major. These two moods relieve 
one another, as they might in the mind of any 
brooding mortal, especially a poet. 

The next picture is Tasso at the court of Fer- 
rara. The courtly life is sketched in a minuet- 
like allegro and a courteous subsidiary. How 
ii6 



AS COMPOSER 

aptly Tasso is carried away by the surrounding 
splendour we hear when the Tasso theme sounds 
in the character of the gay minuet. This theme 
becomes more and more impassioned, the poet 
has raised his eyes to Leonore, and the inevita- 
ble calamity precipitates itself with the recur- 
rence of the wild and frantic burst of rage and 
fury. 

Alles ist dahin ! Nur eines bleibt: 

Die Thrane hat uns die Natur verliehen, 

Den Schrei des Schmerzes, wenn der Mann zuletzt 

Es nicht mehr tragt. 

With this, the first half of the first part of the 
work closes. 

The second half concerns itself with the poet's 
transfiguration. His physical self has been sacri- 
ficed, but the world has taken up his cause and 
celebrates his works. 

A short pause separates the two divisions. 
Now the glorious allegro has an upward swing, 
the former dragging rhythms are spurned along 
impetuously. The Tasso theme is glorified, the 
public enthusiasm grows apace, and runs to a 
tremendous climax in the presto. Then there 
sounds a sudden silence — the public pulse has 
ceased for a moment — followed by a hymn, 
built on the Tasso theme. The entire orchestra 
intones this, every figure is one of jubilation, save 
the four double basses which recall the rhythm 
of the former theme of misery; but — notice the 
logic of the composer — its resemblance is only 

117 



FRANZ LISZT 

a distant one, and it is heard only in the lowest 
of the strings. So this composition concludes. 

The Epilogue to the Tasso symphonic poem 
was written many years afterward. Liszt called 
it Le Triomphe fun^bre du Tasse, and its first 
performance was under Leopold Damrosch in 
New York in 1877. The subject must have pur- 
sued Liszt through most of his life, and he seems 
to have felt a certain affinity with the dead poet. 
We all know that the public denied him credit 
for his compositions. 

Gollerich in his Liszt biography mentions that 
once during his stay in Italy the composer, in a 
covered wagon, had himself driven slowly over 
the course along which the corpse of Tasso had 
been taken. And of this incident he is supposed 
to have said: "I suffered the sad poetry of this 
journey in the hopes that one day the bloody 
irony of vain apotheosis may be spared every 
poet and artist who has been ill-treated during 
life. Rest to the dead!" 

The analysis of this work is short and precise. 
The musical programme is simple. It opens 
with a cry of distressful mourning, while from 
the distance the cortege approaches. A rem- 
iniscence of the Tasso theme is recognisable in 
this pompous approach and the mood changes 
to one of triumph. In the midst of all this the 
public adoration is mingled with its tears, and 
the two climax in the Tasso motive. 



118 



AS COMPOSER 

LES PRELUDES 

The third of Liszt's symphonic poems, Les 
Preludes, was sketched as early as 1845, but not 
produced until 1854, and then in Weimar. La- 
martine's Meditations Podtiques set the bells 
tolling in Liszt's mind, and he wrote Les Pre- 
ludes. " What is life but a series of preludes to 
that unknown song whose initial solemn note is 
tolled by Death ? The enchanted dawn of every 
life is love; but where is the destiny on whose first 
delicious joys some storm does not break ? — a 
storm whose deadly blast disperses youth's illu- 
sions, whose fatal bolt consumes its altar. And 
what soul thus cruelly bruised, when the tempest 
rolls away, seeks not to rest its memories in the 
calm of rural life ? Yet man allows himself not 
long to taste the kindly quiet which first at- 
tracted him to Nature's lap; but when the trum- 
pet gives the signal he hastens to danger's post, 
whatever be the fight which draws him to its lists, 
that in the strife he may once more regain full 
knowledge of himself and all his strength." 

Corresponding to the first line of the pro- 
gramme the composition opens promisingly with 
an ascending figure in the strings, followed by 
some mysterious chords. Liszt had that won- 
derful knack — which he shared with Beethoven 
and Wagner — of getting atmosphere immedi- 
ately at the first announcement. Gradually he 
achieves a climax with this device, and now he 
119 



FRANZ LISZT 

has pictured the character — his hero — in defiant 
possession of full manhood. 

"The enchanted dawn of every life is love" 
reads the line, and the music grows sentimental. 
That well-known horn melody occurs here, a 
theme almost the character of a folk-song; then 
the mood becomes even more tranquil until — 

"But where is the destiny on whose first de- 
licious joys some storm does not break ? — a 
storm whose deadly blast disperses youth's il- 
lusions, whose fatal bolt consumes its altar." 
Here was one of those episodes on which Liszt 
doted, a place where he could unloose all his or- 
chestral technique, piling his climaxes furiously 
high. 

"And what soul thus cruelly bruised, when 
the tempest rolls away, seeks not to rest its mem- 
ories in the pleasant calm of rural life ?" There 
was nothing else for Liszt to do but to write the 
usual pastoral peace dignified by Handel and 
Watteau. 

" Yet man allowed himself not long to taste the 
kindly quiet which first attracted him to Nature's 
lap; but when the trumpet gives the signal he 
hastens to danger's post, whatever be the fight 
which draws him to its lists, that in the strife he 
may once more regain full knowledge of himself 
and all his strength." The martial call of the 
trumpets and the majestic strife is made much of. 
Liszt tortures his peaceful motives into expres- 
sing war, and welds the entire incident into a stir- 
ring one. 

I20 



AS COMPOSER 

Logically, he concludes the work by recalling 
the theme of his hero upon whose life he has 
preluded so tunefully. 

ORPHEUS 

Of the origin of his Orpheus Liszt writes: 
"Some years ago, when preparing Gluck's Or- 
pheus for production, I could not restrain my im- 
agination from straying away from the simple 
version that the great master had made of the 
subject, but turned to that Orpheus whose name 
hovers majestically and full of harmony about 
the Greek myths. It recalled that Etruscan vase 
in the Louvre which represents the poet-musician 
crowned with the mystic kingly wreath; draped 
in a star-studded mantle, his fine slender fingers 
are plucking the lyre strings, while his lips are 
liberating godly words and song. The very 
stones seem moved to hearing, and from adamant 
hearts stinging, burning tears are loosing them- 
selves. The beasts of the forests stand enchanted, 
and the coarse noise of man is besieged into si- 
lence. The song of birds is hushed; the melodi- 
ous coursing of the brook halts; the rude laughter 
of joy gives way to a trembling awe before these 
sounds, which reveal to man universal harmo- 
nies, the gentle power of art and the brilliancy of 
their glory." 

The "dull and prosaic formula" — so some 
English critic put it — differs in this work from 
that of most of the others of Liszt's symphonic 

121 



FRANZ LISZT 

poems. The short cutting themes are absent 
and sharp contrasts are generally avoided; the 
music flows rather in a broad melodic stream, 
serene but magnificent. It is rather difficult to 
fit a detailed programme to the composition, and 
the general outline is not so sharply dented with 
incidents as some of the others. 

Again atmosphere is evoked and the mood 
achieved by the lyre preluding of the poet. Then 
the voice of Orpheus rises with majestic calm, 
and swells to a cHmax which is typical of the ma- 
jestic splendour of art. This sweeps all sounds 
of opposition before it and leaves in its trail 
awe-stricken man. It is with this mood that the 
work closes in a marvellous progression of chords, 
harmonies daring for their day. 



PROMETHEUS 

The same general plan of conception and inter- 
pretation, but of course much more heroic, has 
Liszt employed in the next symphonic poem, 
Prometheus. It is a noble figure that Liszt 
has translated into music, the Titan. The ideas 
he meant to convey may be summed up in " Ein 
tiefer Schmerz, der durch trotzbietendes Aushar- 
ren triumphiert." Immediately at the opening 
the swirl of the struggle is upon us, and the first 
theme is the defiance of the Titan — a noble yet 
obstinate melody. The god is chained to the 
rock to great orchestral tumult. His efforts to 

122 



AS COMPOSER 

break the manacles incite further musical riot; 
and then comes the wail of helpless misery: 

O Mutter, du Heil'ge! O Aether, 

Lichtquell des All's! 

Seh, welch Unrecht ich erdulde! 

This recitative leads into a furious burst when 
the shackled one clenches his fists and threatens 
all Godhead. Even Zeus is defied: 

Und mag er schleudern seines feurigen Blitzes Loh'n, 
In weissen Schneesturms Ungewittern, in Donnerhall 
Der unterirdischen Tiefe werwirren mischen das All: 
Nichts dessen wird mir beugen! 

Then arises the belief in a deliverer, a faith 
motif which is one of those heartfelt inventions 
of the melodic Liszt. After this the struggle con- 
tinues. Magnificently, the god, believing in his 
own obstinate will for freedom, the composition 
concludes on this supreme note. 

MAZEPPA 

The sixth of Liszt's symphonic poems, Ma- 
zeppa, has done more than any other to earn for 
its composer the disparaging comment that his 
piano music was orchestral and his orchestral 
music Klaviermassig. This Solomon judgment 
usually proceeds from the wise ones, who are 
aware that the first form of Liszt's Mazeppa 
was a piano etude which appeared somewhere 
toward the end of 1830. 

123 



FRANZ LISZT 

Liszt's orchestral version of Mazeppa was 
completed the middle of last century and had its 
first hearing at Weimar in 1854. Naturally this 
is a work of much greater proportion than the 
original piano etude; it is, as some one has said, 
in the same ratio as is a panoramic picture to a 
preliminary sketch. 

The story of the Cossack hetman has inspired 
poets and at least one painter. Horace Vemet 

— who, as Heine said, painted everything hastily, 
almost after the manner of a maker of pamphlets 

— put the subject on canvas twice; the Russian, 
Bulgarin, made a novel of it; Voltaire mentioned 
the incident in his History of Charles the Twelfth; 
Byron moulded the tale into rhyme, as did Victor 
Hugo — and the latter poem was used by Liszt 
for the outline for his composition. 

The amorous Mazeppa was of noble birth — 
so runs the tale. But while he was page to Jan 
Casimir, King of Poland, he intrigued with 
Theresia the young wife of a Podolian count. 
Their love was discovered and the count had the 
page lashed to a wild horse — un cheval farouche, 
as Voltaire has it — which was turned loose. 

From all accounts the beast did not allow grass 
to grow under its hoofs, but lashed out with the 
envious speed of the wind. It so happened that 
the horse was "a noble steed, a Tartar of the 
Ukraine breed." Therefore it headed for the 
Ukraine, which woolly country it reached with 
its burden; then it promptly dropped dead. 

Mazeppa was unhanded or unhorsed by a 
124 



AS COMPOSER 

friendly Cossack and nursed back to happiness. 
Soon he grew in stature and in power, becoming 
an Ukraine prince ; as the latter he fought against 
Russia at Pultowa. 

That is the skeleton of the legend. Liszt has 
begun his musical tale at the point when Mazeppa 
is corded to the furious steed, and with a cry it is 
off. This opens the composition; there follow 
the galloping triplets to mark the flight of the 
beast, irregular and wild. Trees and mountains 
seem to whirl by them — this is represented by 
a vertiginous tremolo figure, against which a de- 
scending theme sounds and seems to give per- 
spective to the swirling landscape. 

When the prisoner stirs convulsively in the 
agony of his plight, the horse bounds forward 
even more recklessly. The fury of the ride con- 
tinues, increases, until Mazeppa loses conscious- 
ness and mists becloud his senses. Now and 
again pictures appear before his eyes an instant 
as in a dream fantastic. 

Gradually, as an accompaniment to the thun- 
dering hoof falls, the passing earth sounds as a 
mighty melody to the dehrious one. The entire 
plain seems to ring with song, pitying Mazeppa 
in his suffering. 

The horse continues to plunge and blood pours 
from the wounds of the prisoner. Before his eyes 
the lights dance and the themes return distorted. 
The goal is reached when the steed breaks down, 
overcome with the killing fatigue of its three days' 
ride. It pants its last, and a plaintive andante 
125 



FRANZ LISZT 

pictures the groaning of the bound Mazeppa; this 
dies away in the basses. 

Now the musician soars away in the ether. 
When he returns to us it is with an allegro of 
trumpet calls. Mazeppa has been made a prince 
in the interim and is now leading the warriors of 
the steppe who freed him. These fanfares lead 
to a triumphal march, which is the last division 
of the composition. Local colour is logically 
brought in by the introduction of a Cossack 
march; the Mazeppa theme is jubilantly shared 
by trumpet calls, and the motif of his sufferings 
appears transformed as a melody of victory — 
all this in barbaric rhythms. 

In form the work is free ; two general divisions 
are about as much as it yields to the formal dis- 
sector. It follows the poem, and, having been 
written to the poem, that is really all the sequence 
demanded by logic. 

Liszt was decidedly at a disadvantage as a com- 
poser when he lacked a programme. Usually in 
composing his purpose was so distinct, the music 
measuring itself so neatly against the logic of 
the programme, that his symphonic compositions 
should be most easily comprehended by an audi- 
ence. 

FESTKLANGE 

There is no definite programme to Liszt's 
Festklange. Several probing ones have been hot 
on the trail of such a thing. Pohl knew but 

196 



AS COMPOSER 

would not tell. He wrote: "This work is the 
most intimate of the entire group. It stands in 
close relation with some personal experiences of 
the composer — something which we will not de- 
fine more clearly here. For this reason Liszt 
himself has offered no elucidation to the work, 
and we must respect his silence. The mood of 
the work is ' Festlich ' — it is the rejoicing after 
a victory of — the heart." 

This is mysterious and sentimental enough to 
satisfy any conservatory maiden. But Liszt died 
eventually, and then Pohl intimates that the in- 
cident which this composition was meant to glo- 
rify was the marriage of Liszt with the Princess 
Sayn- Wittgenstein — a marriage which never 
came off. 

Philip Hale has taken up the question in his 
interesting Boston Symphony Programme Notes, 
and summons several witnesses: "Brendel said 
that this symphonic poem is a sphinx that no one 
can understand. Mr. Barry, who takes a pecul- 
iarly serious view of all things musical, claims 
that Festival Sounds, Sounds of Festivity or 
Echoes of a Festival is the portrayal in music of 
scenes that illustrate some great national festival; 
that the introduction, with its fanfares, gives rise 
to strong feelings of expectation. There is a 
proclamation, 'The festival has begun,' and he 
sees the reception of guests in procession. The 
event is great and national — a coronation — 
something surely of a royal character; and there 
is hoUday making until the 'tender, recitative- 

127 



FRANZ LISZT 

like period' hints at a love scene; guests, some- 
what stiff and formal, move in the dance; in the 
finale the first subject takes the form of a na- 
tional anthem. 

" Some have thought that Liszt composed the 
piece in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of the 
entrance into Weimar of his friend and patroness 
Maria Paulowna, sister of the Czar Nicholas I, 
Grand Duchess of Weimar. The anniversary 
was celebrated with pomp November 9, 1854, as 
half a century before the noble dame was greeted 
with Schiller's lyric festival play Die Huldigung 
der Kiinste. 

"This explanation is plausible; but Lina Ra- 
mann assures us that Festklange was intended 
by Liszt as the wedding music for himself and 
the Princess Carolyne Sayn- Wittgenstein; that 
in 1851 it seemed as though the obstacles to the 
union would disappear; that this music was com- 
posed as *a song of triumph over hostile mach- 
inations'; 'bitterness and anguish are forgotten 
in proud rejoicing'; the introduced 'Polonaise' 
pictures the brilliant mind of the Polish prin- 
cess." 

When this symphonic poem was first played in 
Vienna there were distributed handbills written 
by "Herr K.," that the hearers might find rea- 
sonable pleasure in the music. One of the sen- 
tences goes bounding through the universe as fol- 
lows: "A great universal and popular festival 
calls within its magic circle an agitated crowd, 
joy on the brow, heaven in the breast." 
128 



AS COMPOSER 

In whichever class you choose to place the 
Festklange — whether in that of a higher grade 
of wedding music or as music incidental to some 
national event — you are apt to find contra- 
dictions in the music itself. So it is most rea- 
sonable to waive the entire question of a pro- 
gramme here, and take the music at its word. It 
must be admitted that this composition is not 
among Liszt's great ones; the big swing is miss- 
ing and honesty compels the acknowledgment 
that much of it is blank bombast, some of it 
tawdry. 

The introductory allegro is devoted to some 
tympani thumps — k la Meyerbeer — and some 
blaring fanfares which terminate in a loud, bla- 
tant theme. 

Then comes the andante with the principal 
subject of the work, meant to be impressive, but 
failing in its purpose. The mood changes and 
grows humourous, which again is contrasted by 
the following rather melancholy allegretto. This 
latter spot would serve to knock some of the festi- 
val programme ideas into a cocked hat. 

The work eventually launches into a polonaise, 
and until the close Liszt busies himself with vary- 
ing the character and rhythms of the foregoing 
themes. Finally the martial prevails again, deco- 
rated with fanfares, and thus the composition 
closes. 

Festklange had its first performance at Wei- 
mar in 1854; but the composer made some 
changes in the later edition that appeared in 
129 



FRANZ LISZT 

1 86 1, and this version is the one usually played 
to-day. 

A Liszt work which we seldom hear is "Chore 
zu Herder's * Entfesselte Prometheus,' " which 
was composed and performed in Weimar in 1850. 

On August 25 of that year there was a monu- 
ment unveiled to Johann Gottfried Herder in 
Weimar, and the memory of the "apostle of hu- 
manity " was also celebrated in the theatre. This 
accounts for the composition of the symphonic 
poem Prometheus, which served as an overture 
to these choruses, written for voices and orchestra. 
Richard Pohl has put the latter into shape for 
solitary performance in the concert room. 

Prometheus sits manacled on the rock, but the 
fury of his rebellion is over. Resolutely he awaits 
the decree of fate. At this point the Liszt work 
takes up the narrative. The Titan is soliloquis- 
ing, while man, aided by the gift of fire, is calmly 
possessing the world. The elemental spirits look 
enviously at the power of man and turn to Pro- 
metheus with plaints; the Daughters of the Sea 
lament that the holy peace of the sea is disturbed 
by man, who sails the water imperiously. Pro- 
metheus answers Okeanus philosophically that 
everything belongs to every one. 

Then the chorus of the Tritons glorifies the so- 
cialistic Titan with "Heil Prometheus." This 
dies away to make room for the grumbling of All- 
Mother Erda and her dryads, who bring charge 
against the fire giver. An answer comes from 
the bucolic chorus of reapers and their brothers 
130 



AS COMPOSER 

the vintagers, who chant the praise of "Mon- 
sieur" Bacchus. 

From the under world comes the sound of 
strife, and Hercules arises as victor. Prome- 
theus recognises him as the liberator, and the 
Sandow of mythology breaks the Titan's fetters 
and slays the hovering eagle of Zeus. The freed 
Prometheus turns to the rocks on which he has 
sat prisoner so long and asks that in gratitude 
for his liberty a paradise arise there. Pallas 
Athene respects the wish, and out of the naked 
rock sprouts an olive tree. 

A chorus of the Invisible Ones invites Prome- 
theus to attend before the throne of Themis. She 
intercedes in his behalf against his accusers, and 
the Chorus of Humanity celebrates her judgment 
in the hymn which closes "Heil Prometheus! 
Der Menschheit Heil!" Some of the thematic 
material for these choruses and orchestral inter- 
ludes is borrowed from the symphonic poem 
Prometheus. 

Liszt wrote a preface to H^roide Funebre, his 
eighth poem (1849-1850; 1856.) Among other 
things he declares that " Everything may change 
in human societies — manners and cult, laws and 
ideas; sorrow remains always one and the same, 
it remains what it has been from the beginning 
of time. It is for art to throw its transfiguring 
veil over the tomb of the brave — to encircle with 
its golden halo the dead and the dying, in order 
that they may be envied by the living." Liszt 
incorporated with this poem a fragment from 

131 



FRANZ LISZT 

his Revolutionary Symphony outhned in 1830. 
Hungaria (1854; 1857) and Hamlet (1858; 1861) 
the ninth and tenth poems are not of marked 
interest or novel character — that is when com- 
pared to their predecessors. There is a so-called 
poem, From the Cradle to the Grave, the thir- 
teenth in the series, one which did not take seri- 
ously. It is quite brief. But let us consider the 
eleventh and twelfth of the series. 



THE BATTLE OF THE HUNS 

Liszt's Hunnenschlacht was suggested by Wil- 
helm von Kaulbach's mural painting in the stair- 
case-hall of the New Museum in Berlin. It was 
conceived in Munich in November, 1856, and 
written in 1857. When completed, it was put 
into rehearsal at Weimar in October, 1857, and 
performed in April, 1858. Its first performance 
in Boston, was under Mr. Theodore Thomas in 
1872. 

The picture which suggested this composition 
to Liszt shows the city of Rome in the back- 
ground; before it is a battle-field, strewn with 
corpses which are seen to be gradually reviving, 
rising up, and rallying, while among them wan- 
der waihng and lamenting women. At the heads 
of two ghostly armies are respectively Attila — 
borne aloft on a shield by Huns, and wielding a 
scourge — and Theodoric with his two sons, be- 
hind whom is raised the banner of the cross. 
132 



AS COMPOSER , 

The composition is perfectly free in form; one 
noteworthy feature being the interweaving of the 
choral Crux Fidelis with themes of the composer's 
own invention. The score bears no dedication. 



DIE IDEALE 

Die Ideale was projected in the summer of 
1856, but it was composed in 1857. The first 
performance was at Weimar, September 5, 1857, 
on the occasion of unveiling the Goethe-Schiller 
monument. The first performance in Boston was 
by Theodore Thomas's orchestra, October 6, 
1870. The symphonic poem was played here 
at a Symphony Concert on January 26, 1889. 

The argument of Schiller's poem, Die Ideale, 
first published in the Musenalmanach of 1796, has 
thus been presented: "The sweet belief in the 
dream-created beings of youth passes away; what 
once was divine and beautiful, after which we 
strove ardently, and which we embraced lovingly 
with heart and mind, becomes the prey of hard 
reality; already midway the boon companions — 
love, fortune, fame, and truth — leave us one 
after another, and only friendship and activity 
remain with us as loving comforters." Lord Lyt- 
ton characterised the poem as an "elegy on de- 
parted youth." 

Yet Liszt departed from the spirit of the elegy, 
for in a note to the concluding section of the work, 
the Apotheosis, he says: "The holding fast and 



FRANZ LISZT 

at the same time the continual realising of the 
ideal is the highest aim of our life. In this sense 
I ventured to supplement Schiller's poem by a 
jubilantly emphasising resumption of the motives 
of the first section in the closing Apotheosis." 
Mr. Niecks, in his comments on this symphonic 
poem, adds: "To support his view and justify 
the alteration, Liszt might have referred to Jean 
Paul Richter's judgment, that the conclusion of 
the poem, pointing as it does for consolation to 
friendship and activity, comforts but scantily and 
unpoetically. Indeed, Schiller himself called the 
conclusion of the poem tame, but explained that 
it was a faithful picture of human life, adding: 
*I wished to dismiss the reader with this feeling 
of tranquil contentment.' That, apart from po- 
etical considerations, Liszt acted wisely as a 
musician in making the alteration will be easily 
understood and readily admitted. Among the 
verses quoted by the composer, there are eight 
which were omitted by Schiller in the ultimate 
amended form of Die Ideale. The order of suc- 
cession, however, is not the same as in the poem; 
what is I, 2, 3, 4, 5 with Liszt is i, 4, 3, 2, 5 with 
Schiller. The musician seized the emotional pos- 
sibihties of the original, but disregarded the log- 
ical sequence. And there are many things which 
the tone poet who works after the word poet not 
only may but must disregard. As the two arts 
differ in their nature, the one can be only an im- 
perfect translator of the other; but they can be 
more than translators — namely, commentators. 

134 



AS COMPOSER 

Liszt accordingly does not follow the poem word 
for word, but interprets the feelings which it sug- 
gests, ' feelings which almost all of us have felt in 
the progress of life.' Indeed, programme and 
music can never quite coincide ; they are like two 
disks that partly cover each other, partly overlap 
and fall short. Liszt's Die Ideale is no exception. 
Therefore it may not be out of place to warn the 
hearer, although this is less necessary in the pres- 
ent case than in others, against forming ' a grossly 
material conception of the programme,' against 
'an abstractly logical interpretation which allows 
itself to be deceived by the outside, by what pre- 
sents itself to the first glance, disdains the media- 
tion of the imagination.' " 

Mr. Hale gives some interesting facts about the 
composition. 

Liszt and Princess Carolyne Sayn- Wittgen- 
stein were both ill in the spring of 1857, and the 
letters written by Liszt to her during this period 
are of singular interest. Yet Liszt went about 
and conducted performances until he suffered 
from an abscess in a leg and was obliged to lie in 
bed. On the 30th of January Liszt had written 
to a woman, the anonymous "Friend": "For 
Easter I shall have finished Die Ideale (symphony 
in three movements)"; and in March he wrote 
the princess that he was dreaming of Die Ideale. 
In May he went to Aix-la-Chapelle to conduct 
at a music festival, and in July he returned to that 
town for medical treatment. He wrote the prin- 
cess (July 23) that he had completed the indica- 

^35 



FRANZ LISZT 

tions, the "nuances," of the score that morning, 
and he wished her to see that the copyist should 
prepare the parts immediately — six first vio- 
lins, six second violins, four violas, and five 
double basses. 

The performance at Weimar excited neither 
fierce opposition nor warm appreciation. Liszt 
conducted the work at Prague, March ii, 1858, 
and it appears from a letter to the Princess that 
he made cuts and alterations in the score after 
the performance. Hans von Biilow produced 
Die Ideale at Berlin in 1859, and the performance 
stirred up strife. Biilow thought the work too 
long for the opening piece, and preferred to put 
it in the second part. Then he changed his mind; 
he remembered that Liszt's Festklange was at the 
end of a concert the year before in Berlin, and that 
many of the audience found it convenient to leave 
the hall for the cloak-room during the perform- 
ance. A few days later he wrote that he would 
put it at the end of the first part: "My first re- 
hearsal lasted four hours. The parts of Die 
Ideale are very badly copied. It is a magnificent 
work, and the form is splendid. In this respect 
I prefer it to Tasso, to The Preludes, and to other 
symphonic poems. It has given me an enormous 
pleasure — I was happier than I have been for 
a long time. Apropos — a passage, where the 
basses and the trombones give the theme of the 
Allegro, a passage that is found several times in 
the parts is cut out in the printed score. " Ra- 
magn names 1859 as the date of publication, 

136 



AS COMPOSER 

while others say the score was published in 1858. 
"I have left this passage as it is in the arts; for I 
find it excellent, and the additional length of time 
in performance will be hardly appreciable. It 
will go, I swear it!" The concert was on Jan- 
uary 14, 1859, and when some hissed after the 
performance of Die Ideale, Bulow asked them 
to leave the hall. A sensation was made by 
this "maiden speech," as it was called. (See 
the pamphlet, Hans v. Biilow und die Berliner 
Kritik, Berlin, 1859, and Billow's Briefe, vol. iii. 
pp. 202, 203, 205, 206, Leipsic, 1898.) Biilow 
was cool as a cucumber, and directed the next 
piece. Introduction to Lohengrin, as though noth- 
ing had happened. The Princess of Prussia left 
her box, for it was nine o'clock, the hour of tea; 
but there was no explosion till after the concert, 
when Biilow was abused roundly by newspaper 
article and word of mouth. He had promised 
to play two piano pieces at a Domchoir concert 
the 2 2d, and it was understood that he would 
then be hissed and hooted. The report sold all 
the seats and standing places. Never had he 
played so well, and instead of a scandalous ex- 
hibition of disapproval there was the heartiest 
applause. Liszt conducted Die Ideale at Billow's 
concert in Berlin on February 27 of that year, 
and there was then not a suspicion of opposition 
to work or composer. 

Biilow after the first performance at Berlin ad- 
vised Liszt to cut out the very last measures. "I 
love especially the thirds in the kettle-drums, as a 

137 



FRANZ LISZT 

new and bold invention — but I find them a lit- 
tle too ear-boxing for cowardly ears. ... I know 
positively that these eight last drumbeats have 
especially determined or rather emboldened the 
opposition to manifestation. And so, if you do 
not find positive cowardice in my request — put 
these two measures on my back — do as though 
I had had the impertinence to add them as my 
own. I almost implore this of you!" 

In 1863 Billow sent Louis Kohler his latest 
photograph, "Souvenir du 14 Janvier, 1859." I^ 
represents him standing, baton in hand; on a 
conductor's desk is the score of Die Ideale, and 
there is this inscription to Liszt: " ' Suh hoc signo 
viciy nee vincere desistam.' to his Master, his ar- 
tistic Ideal, with thanks and veneration out of a 
full heart. Hans v. Biilow, Berlin, October 22, 
1863." Liszt wrote Biilow from Budapest (Janu- 
ary 3, 1873) : "You know I profess not to collect 
photographs, and in my house portraits do not 
serve as ornaments. At Rome I had only two 
in my chamber; yours — that of Die Ideale, 'Sub 
hoc signo vici, nee vincere desistam^ — was one of 
them." 

It appears that others wished to tinker the 
score of this symphonic poem. Biilow wrote the 
Princess Carolyne Sayn- Wittgenstein (February 
10, 1859) that he had anticipated the permission 
of Liszt, and had sent Die Ideale to Leopold 
Damrosch, who would have the parts copied and 
produce the work in the course of the month at 
Breslau. Carl Tausig produced Die Ideale at 

138 



AS COMPOSER 

Vienna for the first time, February 24, 1861, and 
in a letter written before the performance to 
Liszt he said: "I shall conduct Die Ideale wholly 
according to your wish, yet I am not at all pleased 
with Damrosch's variante; my own are more 
plausible, . . . and Cornelius has strengthened 
me in my belief." When Die Ideale was per- 
formed again at Vienna, in 1880, at a concert of 
the Society of Music Friends, led by the com- 
poser, Eduard Hanslick based his criticism on the 
"witty answer" made by Berthold Auerbach to 
a noble dame who asked him what he thought of 
Liszt's compositions. He answered by putting 
another question: "What would you think if 
Ludwig Devrient, after he had played Shake- 
speare, Schiller, and Goethe with the complete 
mastery of genius, had said to himself in his fif- 
tieth year: *Why should I not be able also to 
write what I play so admirably ? I'll be no longer 
a play actor; henceforth I'll be a tragic poet' ?" 

Die Ideale was performed for the first time in 
England at a concert at the Crystal Palace, April 
16, 1 88 1, with August Manns conductor. 

This is C. A. Barry's answer to the question, 
Why was Liszt obliged to invent the term sym- 
phonic poem? 

It may be explained that finding the symphonic 
form, as by rule established, inadequate for the 
purposes of poetic music, which has for its aim 
the reproduction and re-enforcement of the emo- 
tional essence of dramatic scenes, as they are em- 
bodied in poems or pictures, he felt himself con- 

139 



FRANZ LISZT 

strained to adopt certain divergences from the 
prescribed symphonic form, and, for the new art- 
form thus created, was consequently obliged to 
invent a more appropriate title than that of "sym- 
phony," the formal conditions of which this 
would not fulfil. The inadequateness of the old 
symphonic form for translating into music imag- 
inative conceptions arising from poems or pic- 
tures, and which necessarily must be presented 
in a fixed order, lies in its "recapitulation" sec- 
tion. This Liszt has dropped; and the neces- 
sity of so doing is apparent. Hence he has been 
charged with formlessness. In justification, 
therefore, of his mode of procedure, it may be 
pointed out to those of his critics who regard ev- 
ery divergence from the established form as tend- 
ing to formlessness, that the form which he has 
devised for his symphonic poems in the main dif- 
fers less from the established form than at first 
sight appears, A comparison of the established 
form of the so-called classical period with that de- 
vised by Liszt will make this apparent. 

The former may be described as consisting of 
(i) the exposition of the principal subjects; (2) 
their development; and (3) their recapitulation. 
For this Liszt has substituted (i) exposition, 
(2) development, and (3) further development; 
or, as Wagner has tersely expressed it, "nothing 
else but that which is demanded by the subject 
and its expressible development." Thus, though 
from sheer necessity, rigid formality has been sac- 
rificed to truthfulness, unity and consistency are 
140 



AS COMPOSER 

as fully maintained as upon the old system, but 
by a different method, the reasonableness of 
which cannot be disputed. 

A FAUST SYMPHONY 

Franz Liszt as a composer was bom too soon. 
Others plucked from his amiable grasp the fruits 
of his originality. When Stendhal declared in 
1830 that it would take the world fifty years to 
comprehend his analytic genius he was a prophet, 
indeed, for about 1880, his work was felt by 
writers of that period, Paul Bourget and the 
rest, and lived again in their pages. But poor, 
wonderful Liszt, Liszt whose piano playing set 
his contemporaries to dancing the same mad 
measure we recognise in these days, Liszt the 
composer had to knock unanswered at many 
critical doors for a bare recognition of his ex- 
traordinary merits. 

One man, a poor, struggling devil, a genius of 
the footlights, wrote him encouraging words, not 
failing to ask for a dollar by way of compensating 
postscript. Richard Wagner discerned the great 
musician behind the virtuoso in Liszt, discerned 
it so well that, fearing others would not, he ap- 
propriated in a purely fraternal manner any of 
Liszt's harmonic, melodic, and orchestral ideas 
that happened to suit him. So heavily indebted 
was he to the big-hearted Hungarian that he 
married his daughter Cosima, thus keeping in 
the family a "Sacred Fount" — as Henry James 
141 



FRANZ LISZT 

would say — of inspiration. Wagner not only 
borrowed Liszt's purse, but also his themes. 

Nothing interests the world less than artistic 
plagiarism. If the filching be but cleverly done, 
the setting of the stolen gems individual, who 
cares for the real creator! He may go hang, or 
else visit Bayreuth and enjoy the large dramatic 
style in which his themes are presented. Liszt 
preferred the latter way; besides, Wagner was 
his son-in-law. A story is told that Wagner, ap- 
preciating the humour of his Alberich-llke explo- 
rations in the Liszt scores, sat with his father-in- 
law at the first Ring rehearsals in 1876, and when 
Sieglinde's dream words "Kehrte der Vater nun 
heim" began, Wagner nudged Liszt, exclaiming: 
"Now, papa, comes a theme which I got from 
you." " All right," was the ironic answer, " then 
one will at least hear it." 

This theme, which may be found on page 179 
of Kleinmichael's piano score, appears at the be- 
ginning of Liszt's Faust Symphony. Wagner had 
heard it at a festival of the Allgemeiner Deutscher 
Musik Verein in 1861. He liked it so well that 
he cried aloud: "Music furnishes us with much 
that is beautiful, but this music is divinely beau- 
tiful!" 

Liszt was already a revolutionist when Wag- 
ner published his sonata Op. I., with its echoes 
of Haydn and Mozart. The Revolutionary 
Symphony still survives in part in Liszt's eighth 
symphonic poem. These two early works when 
compared show who was the real path breaker. 
142 



AS COMPOSER 

Compare Orpheus and Tristan and Isolde; the 
Faust Symphony and Tristan; Benediction de 
Dieu and Isolde's Liebestod; Die Ideale and Der 
Ring — Das Rheingold in particular; Invoca- 
tion and Parsifal; Battle of the Huns and Kun- 
dry-Ritt; The Legend of Saint Elizabeth and 
Parsifal, Excelsior and Parsifal. 

The principal theme of the Faust Symphony 
may be heard in Die Walkure, and one of its most 
characteristic themes appears, note for note, as 
the "glance" motive in Tristan. The Gretchen 
motive in Wagner's Eine Faust Ouverture is de- 
rived from Liszt, and the opening theme of the 
Parsifal prelude follows closely the earlier written 
Excelsior of Liszt. 

All this to reassure timid souls who suspect 
Liszt of pilfering. In William Mason's Mem- 
ories of a Musical Life is a letter sent to the Amer- 
ican pianist, bearing date of December 14, 1854, 
In which the writer, Liszt, says, " Quite recently 
I have written a long symphony in three parts, 
called Faust [without text or vocal parts] in which 
the horrible measures 7-8, 7-4, 5-4 alternate with 
common time and 3-4." And Liszt had already 
finished his Dante Symphony. Wagner finished 
the full score of Rheingold in 1854, that of Die 
Walkure in 1856; the last act of Tristan was 
ended in 1859. The published correspondence 
of the two men prove that Wagner studied the 
manuscripts of Liszt's symphonic poems care- 
fully, and, as we must acknowledge, with wonder- 
ful assimilative discrimination. Liszt was the 

143 



FRANZ LISZT 

loser, the world of dramatic music the gainer 
thereby. 

Knowing these details we need not be surprised 
at the Wagnerian — alas, it may be the first in the 
field who wins! — colour, themes, traits of instru- 
mentation, individual treatment of harmonic pro- 
gressions that abound in the symphony which Mr. 
Paur read for us so sympathetically. For exam- 
ple, one astounding transposition — let us give 
the theft a polite musical name — occurs in the 
second, the Gretchen, movement where Siegfried, 
disguised as Hagen, appears in the Liszt or- 
chestra near the close. 

You rub your eyes as you hear the fateful 
chords, enveloped in the peculiar green and sin- 
ister light we so admire in Gotterdammerung. 
Even the atmosphere is abducted by Wagner. 
It is all magnificent, this Nietzsche-like seizure 
of the weaker by the stronger man. 

To search further for these parallelisms might 
prove disquieting. Suffice to say that the begin- 
nings of Wagner from Rienzi to Parsifal may be 
found deposited nugget- wise in this Lisztian Gol- 
conda. The true history of Liszt as composer 
has yet to be written; his marvellous versatility 
— he overflowed in every department of his art 
— his industry are memorable. Richard Wagner's 
dozen music-dramas, ten volumes of prose po- 
lemics and occasional orchestral pieces make no 
better showing when compared to the labours of 
his brain-and-money-banker, Franz Liszt. 

Nor was Wagner the only one of the Forty 
144 



AS COMPOSER 

Thieves who visited this Ali Baba cavern. If 
Liszt learned much from Chopin, Meyerbeer — 
the duo from the fourth act of Huguenots is in 
the Gretchen section — and Berhoz, the younger 
men, Tschaikowsky, Rubinstein, and Richard 
Strauss, have simply polished white and bare the 
ribs of the grand old mastodon of Weimar. 

Faust is not a symphony. (Query: What is 
the symphonic archetype ?) Rather is it a con- 
geries of symphonic moods, structurally united 
by emotional intimacy and occasional thematic 
concourse. The movements are respectively la- 
belled Faust, Gretchen, and Mephistopheles, the 
task, an impossibly tremendous one, being the 
embodiment in tones of the general characteris- 
tics of Goethe's poetic-philosophic master-work. 

Therefore, discarding critical crutches, it is 
best to hear the composition primarily as abso- 
lute music. We know that it is in C minor; that 
the four leading motives may typify intellectual 
doubt, striving, longing, and pride — the last in 
a triumphant E major; that the Gretchen music 
— too lengthy — is replete with maidenly sweet- 
ness overshadowed by the masculine passion of 
Faust (and also his theme) ; that in the Mephisto- 
pheles Liszt appears in his most characteristic 
pose — Abba's robe tucked up. Pan's hoofs show- 
ing, and the air charged with cynical mockeries 
and travesties of sacred love and ideals (themes 
are topsy-turvied k la Berlioz) ; and that at the 
close this devil's dance is transformed by the great 
comedian-composer into a mystic chant with mu- 

145 



FRANZ LISZT 

sic celestial in its white-robed purities; Goethe's 
words, "Alles Vergangliche," ending with the 
consoling "Das Ewig weiblich zieht uns hinan." 

But the genius of it all! The indescribable 
blending of the sensuous, the mystic, the diabolic; 
the master grasp on the psychologic develop- 
ment — and the imaginative musical handling of 
themes in which every form, fugal, lyric, sym- 
phonic, latter-day poetic-symphonic, is juggled 
with in Liszt's transcendental manner. The Rich- 
ard Strauss scores are structurally more complex, 
while, as painters, Wagner, Tschaikowski, and 
Strauss outpoint Liszt at times. But he is 
Heervater Wotan the Wise, or, to use a still more 
expressive German term, he is the Urquell of 
young music, of musical anarchy — an anarchy 
that traces a spiritual air-route above certain 
social tendencies of this century. 

Nevertheless it must be confessed that there 
are some dreary moments in the Faust. 



SYMPHONY AFTER DANTE'S DIVINA 
.COMMEDIA 

The first sketches of this symphony were made 
during Liszt's stay at the country house of the 
Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein at Wo- 
ronice, October, 1847 — February, 1848. The 
symphony was finished in 1855, and the score 
was published in 1858. The first performance 
was at Dresden on November 7, 1857, under the 
146 



AS COMPOSER 

direction of Wilhelm Fischer. Tlie first part, 
Inferno, was produced in Boston at a Philhar- 
monic Concert, Mr. Listemann conductor, No- 
vember 19, 1880. The whole symphony was 
performed at Boston at a Symphony Concert, 
Mr. Gericke conductor, February 27, 1886. 

The work is scored for 3 flutes (one inter- 
changeable with piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 
clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 
trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba, 2 sets of kettle- 
drums, cymbals, bass drum, gong, 2 harps, har- 
monium, strings, and chorus of female voices. 
The score is dedicated to Wagner: "As Virgil 
led Dante, so hast thou led me through the mys- 
terious regions of tone-worlds drunk with life. 
From the depths of my heart I cry to thee : ' Tu 
se lo mio maestro, e '1 mio autore!' and dedicate 
in unalterable love this work. Weimar, Easter, 

'59-" 
/. Inferno: Lento, 4-4. 

Per me si va nella cittk dolente: 
Per me si va nell' eterno dolore: 
Per me si va tra la perduta gente! 

Through me the way is to the city dolent; 
Through me the way is to eternal dole; 
- Through me the way among the people lost. 

— Longfellow. 

These words, read by Dante as he looked at 
the gate of hell, are thundered out by trombones, 
tuba, double basses, etc.; and immediately after 
trumpets and horn make the dreadful proclama- 

147 



FRANZ LISZT 

tion (C-sharp minor): "Lasciate ogni speranza, 
voi ch' entrate" ("All hope abandon, ye who 
enter in.") Liszt has written the Italian hnes 
under the theme in the score. The two " Hell mo- 
tives" follow, the first a descending chromatic 
passage in the lower strings against roll of drums, 
the second given to bassoons and violas. There 
is illustration of Dante's lines that describe the 
"sighs, complaints, and ululations loud": — 

Languages diverse, horrible dialects, 
Accents of anger, words of agony, 
And voices high and hoarse, with sound of hands, 
Made up a tumult that goes whirling on 
Forever in that air forever black, 
Even as the sand doth, when the whirlwind breathes. 

— Longfellow. 

The Allegro frenetico, 2-2, in the development 
paints the madness of despair, the rage of the 
damned. Again there is the cry, " All hope aban- 
don" (trumpets, horns, trombones, tuba). There 
is a lull in the orchestral storm. Quasi Andante, 
5-4. Harps, flutes, violins, a recitative of bass 
clarinet and two clarinets lead to the episode of 
Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. The cor ang- 
lais sings the lamentation: — 

There is no greater sorrow 

Than to be mindful of the happy time 

In misery. 

Before the 'cello takes up the melody sung by the 

clarinet, the Lasciate theme is heard (muted 

148 



AS COMPOSER 

horn, solo,) and then in three tempo, Andante 
amoroso, 7-4, comes the love duet, which ends 
with the Lasciate motive. A harp cadenza 
brings the return to the first allegro tempo, in 
which the Lasciate theme in combination with 
the two Hell motives is developed with grotesque 
and infernal orchestration. There is this remark 
in the score: "This whole passage should be un- 
derstood as sardonic, blasphemous laughter and 
most sharply defined as such." After the repe- 
tition of nearly the whole of the opening section 
of the allegro the Lasciate theme is heard jff. 
II. Purgatorio and Magnificat. The section 
movement begins Andante con moto, D major, 
4-4. According to the composer there is the 
suggestion of a vessel that sails slowly over an 
unruflOied sea. The stars begin to glitter, there is 
a cloudless sky, there is a mystic stillness. Over 
a rolling figuration is a melody first for horn, then 
oboe, the Meditation motive. This period is 
repeated a half-tone higher. The Prayer theme 
is sung by 'cello, then by first violin. There 
is illustration of Dante's tenth canto, and es- 
pecially of the passage where the sinners call to 
remembrance the good that they did not accom- 
plish. This remorseful and pentinent looking- 
back and the hope in the future inspired Liszt, 
according to his commentator, Richard Pohl, to 
a fugue based on a most complicated theme. 
After this fugue the gentle Prayer and Re- 
pentance melodies are heard. Harp chords es- 
tablished the rhythm of the Magnificat (three 
149 



FRANZ LISZT 

flutes ascending in chords of E-flat). This 
motive goes through sundry modulations. And 
now an unseen chorus of women, accompanied 
by harmonium, sings, "Magnificat anima mea 
Dominum et exultavit spiritus meus, in Deo salu- 
tari meo" (My soul doth magnify the Lord, and 
my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour). A 
solo voice, that of the Mater Gloriosa, repeats the 
song. A short choral passage leads to " Hosanna 
Halleluja." The final harmonies are supposed 
to illustrate the passage in the twenty-first canto 
of the Paradiso: — 

I saw rear'd up, 
In colour like to sun -illumined gold, 
A ladder, which my ken pursued in vain. 
So lofty was the summit; down whose steps 
I saw the splendours in such multitude 
Descending, every light in heaven, methought, 
Was shed thence. 

—H. F. Gary. 

The "Hosanna" is again heard, and the sym- 
phony ends in soft harmonies (B major) with the 
first Magnificat theme, 

Liszt wrote to Wagner, June 2, 1855: "Then 
you are reading Dante? He is excellent com- 
pany for you. I, on my part, shall furnish a kind 
of commentary to his work. For a long time I 
had in my head a Dante symphony, and in the 
course of this year it is to be finished. There 
are to be three movements, 'Hell,' 'Purgatory,' 
and 'Paradise,' the two first purely instrumental, 
the last with chorus." 

150 



AS COMPOSER 

Wagner wrote in reply a long letter from Lon- 
don: "That 'Heir and 'Purgatory' will succeed 
I do not call into question for a moment, but as 
to * Paradise ' I have some doubts, which you con- 
firm by saying that your plan includes choruses. 
In the Ninth Symphony the last choral movement 
is decidedly the weakest part, although it is his- 
torically important, because it discloses to us in a 
very naive manner the difficulties of a real musi- 
cian who does not know how (after hell and pur- 
gatory) he is to describe paradise. About this 
paradise, dearest Franz, there is in reality a con- 
siderable difficulty, and he who confirms this 
opinion is, curiously enough, Dante himself, the 
singer of Paradise, which in his 'Divine Comedy' 
also is decidedly the weakest part." And then 
Wagner wrote at length concerning Dante, Chris- 
tianity, Buddhism, and other matters. "But, 
perhaps, you will succeed better, and as you are 
going to paint a tone picture, I might almost pre- 
dict your success, for music is essentially the ar- 
tistic, original image of the world. For the in- 
itiated no error is here possible. Only about the 
'Paradise,' and especially about the choruses, I 
feel some friendly anxiety." 

The next performance of the symphony in Bos- 
ton was May i, 1903, again under the direction of 
Mr. Gericke. Mr. Philip Hale furnished the 
notes for the analytical programme. Richard 
Pohl, whose critical annotations were prompted 
and approved by Liszt, points out that a com- 
poser worthy of a theme like Faust must be some- 

151 



FRANZ LISZT 

thing more than a tone-composer: his concern 
ought to be with something that neither the word 
with its concrete definiteness can express, nor 
form and colour can actually realise, and this 
something is the world of the profoundest and 
most intimate feelings that unveil themselves to 
man's mind only in tones. None but the tone 
poet can render the fundamental moods. But in 
order to seize them in their totality, he must ab- 
stract from the material moments of Dante's 
epic, and can at most allude to few of them. 
On the other hand, he must also abstract from 
the dramatic and philsophical elements. These 
were Liszt's views on the treatment of the subject. 
The Dante idea had obsessed Liszt for years. 
In 1847 he had planned musical illustrations of 
certain scenes from the epic with the aid of the 
newly-invented Diorama. This plan was never 
carried out. The Fantasia quasi-sonata for 
pianoforte (Annees de Pelerinage), suggested by a 
poem of Victor Hugo, "Apres une lecture de 
Dante," is presumably a sketch; it is full of fu- 
liginous grandeur and whirling rhythms. Com- 
posed of imagination and impulse, his mind satu- 
rated with contemporary literature, Liszt's ge- 
nius, as Dannreuther declares, was one that could 
hardly express itself save through some other 
imaginative medium. He devoted his extraor- 
dinary mastery of instrumental technique to the 
purposes of illustrative expression; and, adds the 
authority cited, he was now and then inclined to 
do so in a manner that tends to reduce his music 

152 



AS COMPOSER 

to the level of decorative scene painting or affresco 
work. But the unenthusiastic critic admits that 
there are episodes of sublimity and great beauty 
in the Dante Symphony. The influence of Ber- 
lioz is not marked in this work. 



WEINGARTNER'S AND RUBINSTEIN'S 
CRITICISMS 

In his The Symphony Since Beethoven, Felix 
Weingartner, renowned as a conductor and com- 
poser, has said some pertinent things of the Liszt 
symphonic works. It must not be forgotten that 
he was a pupil of the Hungarian composer. He 
has been discussing Beethoven's first Leonora 
overture and continues thus: 

" The same defects that mark the Ideale mark 
Liszt's Bergsymphonie, and, in spite of some 
beauties, his Tasso. Some other of his orchestral 
works, as Hamlet^ Prometheus, Heroide Funebre, 
are inferior through weakness of invention. An 
improvisatore style, often passing into dismem- 
berment, is peculiar to most of Liszt's composi- 
tions. I might say that while Brahms is charac- 
terised by a musing reflective element, in Liszt a 
rhapsodical element has the upper hand, and can 
be felt as a disturbing element in his weaker 
works. Masterpieces, besides those already men- 
tioned, are the Hungaria, Festklange the Hun- 
nenschlacht, a fanciful piece of elementary weird 
power; Les Prdudes, and, above all, the two 

153 



FRANZ LISZT 

great symphonies to Faust and Dante's Divine 
Comedy. The Faust Symphony intends not at 
all to embody musically Goethe's poem, but gives, 
as its title indicates, three character figures, Faust, 
Gretchen and Mephistopheles. The art and fancy 
with which Liszt here makes and develops 
psychologic, dramatic variation of a theme are 
shown in the third movement. Mephistopheles, 
the 'spirit that denies,' 'for all that does arise 
deserves to perish,' is the principle of the piece. 
" Hence, Liszt could not give it a theme of its 
own, but built up the whole movement out of 
caricatures of previous themes referring specially 
to Faust; and it is only stupid lack of comprehen- 
sion that brought against Liszt, in a still higher 
degree than against Berlioz, the reproach of pov- 
erty of invention. I ask if our old masters made 
great movements by the manifold variation of 
themes of a few bars, ought the like to be forbid- 
den to a composer when a recognisably poetic 
thought is the moving spring ? Does not inven- 
tion belong to such characteristic variation ? And 
just this movement reveals to us most clearly 
Liszt's profound knowledge of the real nature of 
music. When the hellish Devil's brood has grown 
to the most appalling power, then, hovering in the 
clouds of glory, the main theme of the Gretchen 
movement appears in its original, untouched 
beauty. Against it the might of the devil is shat- 
tered, and sinks back into nothing. The poet 
might let Gretchen sink, nay, become a criminal; 
the musician, in obedience to the ideal, noble 

154 



AS COMPOSER 

character of his art, preserves for her a form of 
light. Powerful trombone calls resound through 
the dying hell-music, a male chorus begins softly 
Goethe's sublime words of the chorus mysticus, 
'All that is transient is emblem alone,' and in 
the clearly recognised notes of the Gretchen theme 
a tenor voice continues, 'The ever- womanly 
draweth us up ! ' This tenor voice may be iden- 
tified with Goethe's Doctor Marianus; we may 
imagine Gretchen glorified into the Mater Glori- 
osa, and recall Faust's words when he beholds 
Gretchen's image in the vanishing clouds: 

* Like some fair soul, the lovely form ascends, 
And, not dissolving, rises to the skies 
And draws away the best within me with it.' 

"So, in great compositions, golden threads spun 
from sunshine move between the music and the 
inspiring poetry, hght and swaying, adorning 
both arts, fettering neither. 

" Perhaps with still more unity and power than 
the Faust Symphony is the tone poem to Dante's 
Divine Comedy, with its thrilling representations 
of the torments of hell and the ' purgatorio,' 
gradually rising in higher and higher spheres of 
feeling. In these works Liszt gave us the best 
he could give. They mark the summit of his 
creative power, and the ripest fruit of that style 
of programme music that is artistically justified, 
since Berlioz. 

" Outside of these two symphonies Liszt's or- 
chestral works consist of only one movement and, 

155 



FRANZ LISZT 

as you know, are entitled Symphonic Poems. The 
title is extremely happy, and seems to lay down 
the law, perhaps the only law that a composition 
must follow if it has any raison d'etre. Let it be 
a 'poem,' that is, let it grow out of a poetic idea, 
an inspiration of the soul, which remains either 
unspoken or communicated to the public by the 
title and programme; but let it also be 'sym- 
phonic,' which here is synonymous with 'musi- 
cal.' Let it have a form, either one derived from 
the classic masters, or a new one that grows out of 
the contents and is adapted to them. Formless- 
ness in art is always censurable and in music can 
never win pardon by a programme or by 'what 
the composer was thinking.' Liszt's symphonic 
works show a great first step on a new path. Who- 
ever wishes to follow it must, before all things, 
be careful not to imitate Liszt's weakness, a fre- 
quently remarkable disjointed conception, nor to 
make it a law, but to write compositions which 
are more than musical illustrations to pro- 
grammes." 

Rubinstein, though he had been intimate with 
Liszt at Weimar, and profiting by his advice, 
made no concealment of his aversion to the com- 
positions. In his "Conversation on Music" he 
said: "Liszt's career as a composer from 1853 
is, according to my idea, a very disappointing 
one. In every one of his compositions 'one 
marks design and is displeased.' We find pro- 
gramme music carried to the extreme, also con- 
tinual posing — in his church music before God, 

156 



AS COMPOSER 

in his orchestral music works before the public, 
in his transcriptions of songs before the com- 
posers, in his Hungarian rhapsodies before the 
gipsies — in short, always and everywhere pos- 
ing. 

" 'Dans les arts il faut faire grand' was his 
usual dictum, therefore the affectation in his 
work. His fashion for creating something new 
— h. tout prix — caused him to form entire com- 
positions out of a simple theme. ... So: the 
sonata form — to set this aside means to extempo- 
rise a fantasia that is however not a symphony, 
not a sonata, not a concerto. Architecture is 
nearest allied to music in its fundamental prin- 
ciples — can a formless house or church or any 
other building be imagined? Or a structure, 
where the facade is a church, another part of the 
structure a railway station, another part a floral 
pavilion, and still another part a manufactory, 
and so on ? Hence lack of form in music is im- 
provisation, yes, borders almost on digression. 
Symphonic poems (so he calls his orchestral 
works) are supposed to be another new form of 
art — whether a necessity and vital enough to 
hve, time, as in the case of Wagner's Music- 
Drama, must teach us. His orchestral instru- 
mentation exhibits the same mastery as that of 
Berlioz and Wagner, even bears their stamp; 
with that, however, it is to be remembered that 
his pianoforte is the Orchestra-Pianoforte and his 
orchestra the Pianoforte-Orchestra, for the or- 
chestral composition sounds like an instrumented 

157 



FRANZ LISZT 

pianoforte composition. All in all I see in 
Berlioz, Wagner, and Liszt, the Virtuoso- Com- 
poser, and I would be glad to believe that their 
'breaking all bounds' may be an advantage to 
the coming genius. In the sense, however, of 
specifically musical creation I can recognise nei- 
ther one of them as a composer — and, in addi- 
tion to this, I have noticed so far that all three 
of them are wanting in the chief charm of crea- 
tion — the naive — that stamp of geniality and, 
at the same time, that proof that genius after all 
is a child of humanity. Their influence on the 
composers of the day is great, but as I believe 
unhealthy." 

THE RHAPSODIES 

Liszt wrote fifteen compositions for the piano- 
forte, to which he gave the name of Rhapsodies 
Hongroises; they are based on national Magyar 
melodies. Of these he, assisted by Franz Dop- 
pler, scored six for orchestra. There is consid- 
erable confusion between the pianoforte set and 
the orchestral transcriptions, in the matter of 
numbering. Some of the orchestral transcrip- 
tions, too, are transposed to different keys from 
the originals. Here are the lists of both sets. 

Original Set, for Pianoforte, 

I. In E-flat major, dedicated to E. Zerdahely. 
II. In C-sharp minor and F-sharp major, dedicated to 
Count Ladislas Teleki. 

158 



AS COMPOSER 

ni. In B-flat major, dedicated to Count Leo Festetics. 

IV. In E-flat major, dedicated to Count Casimir Eszter- 

hdzy. 
V, Heroide 6Ugiaque, in E minor, dedicated to Coun- 
tess Sidonie Reviczky. 
VI. In D-flat major, dedicated to Count Antoine d'Ap- 

ponyi. 
VII. In D minor, dedicated to Baron Fery Orczy. 
VIII. In F-sharp minor, dedicated to M. A. d'Augusz. 
IX. Le Carnaval de Pesth, in E-flat major, dedicated to 

H. W. Ernst. 
X. Preludio, in E major, dedicated to Egressy B6ny. 
XI, In A minor, dedicated to Baron Fery Orczy. 
XII. In C-sharp minor, dedicated to Joseph Joachim. 

XIII. In A minor, dedicated to Count Leo Festetics. 

XIV. In F minor, dedicated to Hans von Biilow. 
XV. Rdkdczy Marsch, in A minor. 

Orchestral Set. 

I. In F minor . . . (No. 14 of the original set). 
11. Transposed to D 

minor .... (No. 12 " " " " ). 
III. Transposed to D 

major .... (No. 6 " " " " ). 
rV. Transposed to D 

minor and G major (No. 2 " " " " ). 

V. In E minor . . . (No. 5 " " " " ). 
VI. P e s t h e r Carneval, 

transposed to D 

major .... (No. 9 " " " " ). 

The dedications remain the same as in the 
original set. 



159 



FRANZ LISZT 



AUGUST SPANUTH'S ANALYSIS 

August Spanuth, now the editor of the Signale 
in Berlin, wrote inter alia of the Rhapsodies in his 
edition prepared for the Ditsons: 

"After Liszt's memorable visit to his native 
country in 1840 he freely submitted to the influ- 
ence of the gipsy music. The catholicity of his 
musical taste, due to his very sensitive and recep- 
tive nature as well as his cosmopolitan life, would 
have enabled him to usurp the musical character- 
istics of any nation, no matter how uncouth, and 
work wonders with them. His versatility and 
resourcefulness in regard to form seemed to be 
inexhaustible, and he would certainly have been 
able to write some interesting fantasias on Hun- 
garian themes had his affection for that country 
been only acquired instead of inborn. For- 
tunately his heart was in the task, and Liszt's 
Hungarian Rhapsodies not only rank among his 
most powerful and convincing works, but must 
also be counted as superior specimens of national 
music in general. It does not involve an injus- 
tice toward Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert, 
who occasionally affected Hungarian peculiari- 
ties in their compositions, to state that it was 
Liszt who with his rhapsodies and kindred com- 
positions started a new era of Hungarian music. 
' Tunes ' which heretofore served to amuse a mot- 
ley crowd at the czardas on the 'Puszta' have 
through Liszt been successfully introduced into 
160 



AS COMPOSER 

legitimate music. And most wonderful of all, 
he has not hesitated to preserve all the drastic and 
coarse effects of the gipsy band without ever lean- 
ing toward vulgarity. Who, before Franz Liszt, 
would have dreamed of employing cymbal-ef- 
fects in legitimate piano playing ? Liszt, such is 
the power of artistic transfiguration, imitates the 
cymbal to perfection and yet does not mar the il- 
lusion of refinement; while, on the other hand, 
the cymbal as a solo instrument must still impress 
us as primitive and rude. Liszt did not conceive 
the Hungarian music with his outer ear alone, as 
most of his numerous imitators did. They caught 
but the outline, some rhythmical features and 
some stereotyped ornaments; but Liszt was able 
to penetrate to the very source of it, he carried 
the key to its secret in his Hungarian tempera- 
ment. 

" To speak of Hungarian folk-songs is hardly 
permissible since a song includes the words as 
well as the music. Hungary is a polyglot coun- 
try, and a song belonging through its words, as 
well as its notes, to the vast majority of the in- 
habitants is therefore an impossibility. The Mag- 
yars, of course, claim to be the only genuine Hun- 
garians, and since they settled there almost a 
thousand years ago and are still indisputably the 
dominating race of the country, their claim may 
remain uncontested. Even the fact that the Mag- 
yars are but half of the total of a strange mix- 
ture, made up of heterogeneous elements, would 
not necessarily render invalid any pretension that 
i6i 



FRANZ LISZT 

their songs are the genuine Hungarian songs. But 
the proud Magyar will admit that Hungarian 
music is first and foremost gipsy music, Hunga- 
rian gipsy music. How much the Magyars have 
originally contributed to this music does not ap- 
pear to be clear. Perhaps more research may 
lead to other results, but the now generally ac- 
cepted conjecture gives the rhythmic features to 
the Magyars and the characteristic ornaments to 
the gipsies. It will probably not be denied that 
this presumption looks more like a compromise 
than the fruit of thorough scientific investigation. 
Furthermore, rhythnS and ornaments are in Hun- 
garian music so closely knit that it seems incom- 
prehensible that they should have originated as 
characteristic features of two races so widely di- 
vergent. If this is so, however, we may hope 
that out of our own negro melodies and the songs 
of other elements of our population real Ameri- 
can folk-music will yet after centuries develop, 
though it is to be feared that neither the negroes 
nor other inhabitants of the United States will 
be in a position to preserve sufficient naivete, 
indispensable for the production of real folk- 
music. Otherwise the analogon is promising, 
the despised gipsy taking socially about the same 
position in Hungary as our own negro here. 

" The Hungarian music as known to-day will 
impress everybody as a unit; so much so that its 
restrictions are obvious, and likely to produce a 
monotonous effect if too much of it is offered. 
Above all, this music is purely instrumental and 
162 



AS COMPOSER 

therefore different from all other folk-music. It 
is based, though not exclusively, on a peculiar 
scale, the harmonic minor scale with an aug- 
mented fourth. Some commentators read this 
scale differently by starting at the dominant. 
Thus it appears as a major scale with a dimin- 
ished second and a minor sixth, a sort of major- 
minor mode. The latter scale can be found on 
the last page of Liszt's Fifteenth Rhapsody, where 
it runs from a to a, thus: a, &-flat, c-sharp, d, e,f, 
^-sharp and a. But for every scale of this con- 
struction a dozen of the former may be gathered 
in the Rhapsodies. While the notes are identi- 
cal in both, the effect upon the ear is different, 
according to the starting note, just as the de- 
scending melodic minor scale is de facto the same 
as the relative major scale, but not in its effect. 
The austerity and acidity of the altered harmonic 
minor scale is the chief characteristic of the me- 
lodious and harmonic elements of Hungarian 
music. Imbued with a plaintive and melan- 
choly flavour this mode will always be recognised 
as the gipsy kind. To revel in sombre melodies 
seems to be one half of the purpose of Hungarian 
music, and in logical opposition a frolicsome gai- 
ety the other half. In the regular czardas, a rus- 
tic dance at the wayside inn on the Puszta, the 
melancholy lassan alternates in well-proportioned 
intervals with the extravagant and boisterous 
friska. The rhythm may be said to be a sort of 
spite-rhythm, very decisive in most cases, but 
most of the time in syncopation. This rhythm 
163 



FRANZ LISZT 

proves conclusively that the origin of Hunga- 
rian music is instrumental, for even in cantabile 
periods, where the melody follows a more dreamy 
vein, the syncopations are seldom missing in the 
accompaniment. At every point one is reminded 
that the dance was father to this music, a dance 
of unconventional movements where the dancer 
seems to avoid the step which one expected him 
to take, and instead substitutes a queer but grace- 
ful jerk. Where actual jerks in the melody would 
be inopportune, the ornaments are at hand and 
help to prevent every semblance of convention- 
ality. 

"Liszt, of course, has widened the scope of 
these ornamental features considerably. His fer- 
tility in applying such ornaments to each and 
every musical thought he is spinning is stupen- 
dous. In all his nineteen rhapsodies — the Twen- 
tieth Rhapsody is still in manuscript — the style, 
form, constructive idea, and application of these 
ornaments are different, but every one is char- 
acteristic not only of Hungarian music in general, 
but of the rhapsody in particular. 

"Both the syncopated rhythm and the rich 
ornamentation which naturally necessitate a fre- 
quent tempo rubato help to avoid the monotony 
which might result from the fact that Hungarian 
music moves in even rhythm only. Four-quarter 
and two-quarter time prevail throughout, while 
three-quarter and six-eight do not seem to fit in 
the rhythmic design of Hungarian music. At- 
tempts have been made to introduce uneven 

164 



AS COMPOSER 

rhythm, but they were not successful. Where 
three-quarter and similar rhythm appears, the 
Hungarian spirit evaporates. Much more va- 
riety is available regarding the tempo, the orig- 
inal lassan and friska not being indispensable, 
A moderate and graceful allegretto is frequently 
used by Liszt, and he also graduates the speed of 
the brilliant finales as well as the languor of the 
introductions of his Rhapsodies." 



AS SONG WRITER 

"It is not known exactly when Liszt began to 
compose songs," writes Henry T. Finck in his 
volume on Songs and Song Writers. "The best 
of them belong to the Weimar period, when he 
was in the full maturity of his creative power. 
There are stories of songs inspired by love while 
he lived in Paris; and he certainly did write six 
settings of French songs, chiefly by Victor Hugo. 
These he prepared for the press in 1842. While 
less original in melody and modulation than the 
best of his German songs, they have a distinct 
French esprit and elegance which attest his power 
of assimilation and his cosmopolitanism. These 
French songs, fortunately for his German ad- 
mirers, were translated by Cornelius. Italian 
leanings are betrayed by his choice of poems by 
Petrarca and Bocella; but, as already intimated 
his favourite poets are Germans: Goethe, Schil- 
ler, Heine, Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Uhland, 

165 



FRANZ LISZT 

Riickert and others. Goethe — who could not 
even understand Schubert, and to whom Liszt's 
music would have been pure Chinese — is fa- 
voured by settings of Mignon's Lied (Kennst du 
das Land), Es war ein Konig in Thule, Der du 
von dem Himmel bist, Ueber alien Gipfeln ist 
Ruh, Wer nie sein Brod mit Thranen ass, Freud- 
voll und Leidvoll (two versions). 

" Mignon was the second of his German songs, 
and it is the most deeply emotional of all the set- 
tings of that famous poem. Longing is its key- 
note; longing for blue-skyed Italy, with its or- 
ange groves, marble treasures and other delights. 
One of the things which Wagner admired in 
Liszt's music was ' the inspired definiteness of 
musical conception' which enabled him to con- 
centrate his thought and feeling in so pregnant 
a way that one felt inclined to exclaim after a few 
bars: 'Enough, I have it all.' The opening 
bar of Mignon's Lied thus seems to condense the 
longing of the whole song; yet, as the music pro- 
ceeds, we find it is only a prelude to a wealth of 
musical detail which colours and intensifies every 
word and wish of the poem. 

"All of the six settings of Goethe poems are 
gems, and Dr. Hueffer quite properly gave each 
of them a place in his collection of Twenty Liszt 
Songs. Concerning the Wanderer's Night Song 
(Ueber alien Gipfeln ist Ruh), Dr. Hueffer has 
well said that Liszt has rendered the heavenly 
calm of the poem by his wonderful harmonies in 
a manner which alone would secure him a place 
i66 



AS COMPOSER 

among the great masters of German song. * Par- 
ticularly the modulation from G major back into 
the original E major at the close of the piece is of 
surprising beauty,' 

"For composers of musical lyrics Schiller wrote 
much fewer available poems than Goethe. But 
Schubert owed to him one of his finest songs, The 
Maiden's Lament, and next to him as an illus- 
trator of Schiller I feel inclined to place Liszt, who 
is at his best in his settings of three poems from 
William Tell, The Fisher Boy, The Shepherd 
and The Alpine Hunter. Liszt, like Schubert, 
favours poems which bring a scene or a story viv- 
idly before the mind's eye, and he loves to write 
music which mirrors these pictorial features. 
Schubert's Mullerlieder seemed to have exhausted 
the possible ways of depicting in music the 
movements of the waters — but listen to the rip- 
pling arpeggios in Liszt's Fisher Boy, embody- 
ing the acquisitions of modern pianistic technic. 
The shepherd's song brings before our eyes and 
ears the flower meadows and the brooks of the 
peaceful Alpine world in summer, while the song 
of the hunter gives us dissolving views of destruc- 
tive avalanches and appalling precipices, with 
sudden glimpses, through cloud rifts, of mead- 
ows and hamlets at dizzy depths below. Wag- 
ner himself, in the grandest mountain and cloud 
scenes of the Walkure and Siegfried, has not writ- 
ten more superbly dissonant and appropriate 
dramatic music than has Liszt in this exciting 
song." 

167 



FRANZ LISZT 

The King of Thule and Lorely are master- 
pieces and contain in essence all the dramatic 
lyricism of modern writers, Strauss included. 

PIANO AND ORCHESTRA 

CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA, NO. I, 
IN E FLAT 

This, the better known of Liszt's two piano- 
forte concertos, is constructed along the general 
lines of the symphonic poem — a species of free 
orchestral composition which Liszt himself gave 
to the world. The score embraces four sections 
arranged like the four movements of a symphony, 
although their internal development is of so free 
a nature, and they are merged one into another 
in such a way as to give to the work as a whole 
the character of one long movement developed 
from several fundamental themes and sundry 
subsidiaries derived therefrom. The first of these 
themes [this is the theme to which Liszt used 
to sing, " Das versteht ihr alle nicht!" but, ac- 
cording to Von Billow and Ramann, " Ihr konnt 
alle nichts!"] appears at the outset, being given 
out by the strings with interrupting chords of 
wood-wind and brass allegro maestoso leading at 
once to an elaborate cadenza for the pianoforte. 
The second theme, which marks the beginning of 
the second section — in B major, Quasi adagio 
and 12-8 (4-4) time — is announced by the 
deeper strings (muted) to be taken up by the solo 
168 



AS COMPOSER 

instrument over flowing left-hand arpeggios. A 
long trill for the pianoforte, embellished by ex- 
pressive melodies from sundry instruments of the 
orchestra, leads to the third section — in E-flat 
minor, allegretto vivace and 3-4 time — where- 
upon the strings give out a sparkling scherzo 
theme which the solo instrument proceeds to de- 
velop capriciously. This section closes with a 
pianissimo cadenza for the pianoforte following 
which a rhapsodical passage (Allegro animato) 
leads to the finale — in E-flat major, Allegro mar- 
ziale animato and 4-4 time — in which the sec- 
ond theme reappears transformed into a spir- 
ited march." 

The concerto was composed in 1848, revised 
in 1853, and published in 1857. It was per- 
formed for the first time at Weimar during the 
Berlioz week, February 16, 1855, when Liszt was 
the pianist and Berlioz conducted the orchestra. 
It is dedicated to Henri Litolff. 

Liszt wrote at some length concerning this 
concerto in a letter to Eduard Liszt, dated Wei- 
mar, March 26, 1857: 

"The fourth movement of the concerto from 
the Allegro marziale corresponds with the second 
movement, Adagio. It is only an urgent re- 
capitulation of the earlier subject-matter with 
quickened, livelier rhythm, and contains no new 
motive, as will be clear to you by a glance through 
the score. This kind of binding together and 
rounding off a whole piece at its close is some- 
what my own, but it is quite maintained and justi- 
169 



FRANZ LISZT 

fied from the stand-point of musical form. The 
trombones and basses take up the second part of 
the motive of the Adagio (B major). The pi- 
anoforte figure which follows is no other than the 
reproduction of the motive which was given in the 
Adagio by flute and clarinet, just as the conclud- 
ing passage is a Variante and working up in the 
major of the motive of the Scherzo, until finally 
the first motive on the dominant pedal B-flat, 
with a shake-accompaniment, comes in and con- 
cludes the whole. 

"The Scherzo in E-flat minor, from the point 
where the triangle begins, I employed for the ef- 
fect of contrast. 

" As regards the triangle I do not deny that it 
may give offence, especially if struck too strong 
and not precisely. A preconceived disinclina- 
tion and objection to instruments of percussion 
prevails, somewhat justified by the frequent mis- 
use of them. And few conductors are circum- 
spect enough to bring out the rhythmic element 
in them, without the raw addition of a coarse 
noisiness, in works in which they are deliberately 
employed according to the intention of the com- 
poser. The dynamic and rhythmic spicing and 
enhancement, which are effected by the instru- 
ments of percussion, would in more cases be much 
more effectually produced by the careful trying 
and proportioning of insertions and additions of 
that kind. But musicians who wish to appear 
serious and solid prefer to treat the instruments of 
percussion en canaille, which must not make their 
170 



AS COMPOSER 

appearance in the seemly company of the sym- 
phony. They also bitterly deplore inwardly 
that Beethoven allowed himself to be seduced 
into using the big drum and triangle in the Finale 
of the Ninth Symphony. Of Berlioz, Wagner, 
and my humble self, it is no wonder that 'like 
draws to like,' and, as we are treated as impotent 
canaille amongst musicians, it is quite natural 
that we should be on good terms with the canaille 
among the instruments. Certainly here, as in 
all else, it is the right thing to seize upon and hold 
fast [the] mass of harmony. In face of the most 
wise proscription of the learned critics I shall, 
however, continue to employ instruments of per- 
cussion, and think I shall yet win for them some 
effects httle known." 

"This eulogy of the triangle," Mr. Philip 
Hale says, " was inspired by the opposition in Vi- 
enna when Pruckner played the concerto in that 
city (season of 1856-57). Hanslick cursed the 
work by characterising it as a 'Triangle Con- 
certo,' and for some years the concerto was there- 
fore held to be impossible. It was not played 
again in Vienna until 1869, when Sophie Menter 
paid no attention to the advice of the learned and 
her well-wishers. Lina Ramann tells the story. 
Rubinstein, who happened to be there, said to 
her: * You are not going to be so crazy as to play 
this concerto ? No one has yet had any luck with 
it in Vienna.' Bosendorfer, who represented the 
Philharmonic Society, warned her against it. 
To which Sofie replied coolly in her Munich 
171 



FRANZ LISZT 

German: 'Wenn i dos nit spielen kann, speil i 
goar nit — i muss ja nit in Wien spielen' ('if I 
can't play it, I don't play at all — I must not play 
in Vienna'). She did play it, and with great 
success. 

"Yet the triangle is an old and esteemed in- 
strument. In the eighteenth century it was still 
furnished with metal rings, as was its forbear, 
the sistrum. The triangle is pictured honourably 
in the second part of Michael Pratorius' 'Syn- 
tagma musicum' (Part II., plate xxii., Wolffen- 
biittel, 1618). Haydn used it in his military 
symphony, Schumann in the first movement of 
his B-flat symphony; and how well Auber under- 
stood its charm!" 

CONCERTO FOR PIANO, NO. 2, IN A MAJOR 

This concerto, as well as the one in E-flat, was 
probably composed in 1848. It was revised in 
1856 and in 1861, and pubhshed in 1863. It is 
dedicated to Hans von Bronsart, by whom it was 
played for the first time January 7, 1857, at Wei- 
mar. 

The autograph manuscript of this concerto 
bore the title, "Concert Symphonique," and, as 
Mr. Apthorp once remarked, "The work might 
be called a symphonic poem for pianoforte and 
orchestra, with the title, 'The Life and Adven- 
tures of a Melody.' " 

The concerto is in one movement. The first 
and chief theme binds the various episodes into 
172 



AS COMPOSER 

an organic whole. Adagio sostenuto assai, A 
major, 3-4. The first theme is announced at 
once by wood- wind instruments. It is a moaning 
and wailing theme, accompanied by harmonies 
shifting in tonality. The pianoforte gives in 
arpeggios the first transformation of this musical 
thought and in massive chords the second trans- 
formation. The horn begins a new and dreamy 
song. After a short cadenza of the solo instru- 
ment a more brilliant theme in D minor is in- 
troduced and developed by both pianoforte and 
orchestra. A powerful crescendo (pianoforte 
alternating with string and wood-wind instru- 
ments) leads to a scherzo-like section of the con- 
certo, Allegro agitato assai, B-flat minor, 6-8. 
A side motive fortissimo (pianoforte) leads to a 
quiet middle section. Allegro moderato, which is 
built substantially on the chief theme (solo 
'cello). A subsidiary theme, introduced by the 
pianoforte, is continued by flute and oboe, and 
there is a return to the first motive. A piano- 
forte cadenza leads to a new tempo. Allegro de- 
ciso, in which rhythms of already noted themes 
are combined, and a new theme appears (violas 
and 'cellos) , which at last leads back to the tempo 
of the quasi-scherzo. But let us use the words 
of Mr. Apthorp rather than a dry analytical 
sketch: 'From this point onward the concerto 
is one unbroken series of kaleidoscopic effects 
of the most brilliant and ever-changing descrip- 
tion; of musical form, of musical coherence even, 
there is less and less. It is as if some magician 

173 



FRANZ LISZT 

in some huge cave, the walls of which were cov- 
ered with glistening stalactites and flashing jew- 
els, were revealing his fill of all the wonders of 
colour, brilliancy, and dazzling light his wand 
could command. Never has even Liszt rioted 
more unreservedly in fitful orgies of flashing 
colour. It is monstrous, formless, whimsical, 
and fantastic, if you will; but it is also magical 
and gorgeous as anything in the Arabian Nights. 
It is its very daring and audacity that save it. 
And ever and anon the first wailing melody, with 
its unearthly chromatic harmony, returns in one 
shape or another, as if it were the dazzled neo- 
phyte to whom the magician Liszt were showing 
all these splendours, while initiating it into the 
mysteries of the world of magic, until it, too, be- 
comes magical, and possessed of the power of 
working wonders by black art.' " 



THE DANCE OF DEATH 

Liszt's Todtentanz is a tremendous work. This 
set of daring variations had not been heard in 
New York since Franz Rumm.el played them 
years ago, under the baton of the late Leopold 
Damrosch, although d' Albert, Siloti and Alex- 
ander Lambert have had them on their pro- 
grammes — in each case some circumstance pre- 
vented our hearing them here. Harold Bauer 
played them with the Boston Symphony, both in 
Boston and Brooklyn, and Philip Hale, in his 

174 



AS COMPOSER 

admirable notes on these concerts, has writ- 
ten in part: " Liszt was thrilled by a fresco in 
the Campo Santo of Pisa, when he sojourned 
there in 1838 and 1839. This fresco, The Tri- 
umph of Death, was for many years attributed 
to a Florentine, Andrea Orcagna, but some in- 
sist that it was painted by Pietro and Ambrogio 
Lorenzetti." 

The right of this fantastical fresco portrays a 
group of men and women, who, with dogs and 
falcons, appear to be back from the chase, or they 
may be sitting as in Boccaccio's garden. They 
are sumptuously dressed. A minstrel and a dam- 
sel sing to them, while cupids flutter about and 
wave torches. But Death flies swiftly toward 
them, a fearsome woman, with hair streaming 
wildly, with clawed hands. She is bat-winged, 
and her clothing is stiff with mire. She swings 
a scythe, eager to end the joy and delight of the 
world. Corpses lie in a heap at her feet — 
corpses of kings, queens, cardinals, warriors, the 
great ones of the earth, whose souls, in the shape 
of new born babes, rise out of them. "Angels 
like gay butterflies" are ready to receive the right- 
eous, who fold their hands in prayer; demons 
welcome the damned, who shrink back with hor- 
ror. The devils, who are as beasts of prey or 
loathsome reptiles, fight for souls; the angels rise 
to heaven with the saved ; the demons drag their 
victims to a burning mountain and throw them 
into the flames. And next this heap of corpses 
is a crowd of beggars, cripples, miserable ones, 

175 



FRANZ LISZT 

who beg Death to end their woe; but they do not 
interest her. A rock separates this scene from 
another, the chase. Gallant lords and noble 
dames are on horseback, and hunters with dogs 
and falcons follow in their train. They come 
upon three open graves, in which lie three 
princes in different stages of decay. An aged 
monk on crutches, possibly the Saint Macarius, 
points to this memento mori. They talk gaily, 
although one of them holds his nose. Only one 
of the party, a woman, rests her head on her 
hand and shows a sorrowful face. On mountain 
heights above are hermits, who have reached 
through abstinence and meditation the highest 
state of human existence. One milks a doe while 
squirrels play about him; another sits and reads; 
a third looks into a valley that is rank with 
death. And, according to tradition, the faces in 
this fresco are portraits of the painter's con- 
temporaries. 

How such a scene must have appealed to Liszt 
is easily comprehensible, and he put it into musi- 
cal form by taking a dour Dies Lrae theme and 
putting it through the several variations of the 
emotions akin to the sardonic. The composer 
himself referred to the work as "a monstrosity," 
and he must have realised full well that it would 
stick in the crop of the philistines. And it has. 
But Von Billow stood godfather to the work and 
dared criticism by playing it. 

As a work it is absolutely unconventional and 
follows no distinct programme, as does the Saint- 
176 



AS COMPOSER 

Saens "clever cemetery farce." Its opening is 
gloomily impressive and the orchestration fear- 
fully bold. The piano in it is put to various uses, 
with a fill of glissandi matching the diabolic 
mood. The cadenzas might be dispensed with, 
but, after all, the piece was written by Liszt, and 
cadenzas were a part of his nature. But to take 
this work lightly is to jest with values. The 
theme itself is far too great to be depreciated and 
the treatments of it are marvellous. Our ears 
rebel a bit that the several variations were not 
joined — which they might easily have been — 
and then the work would sound more en bloc. 
But, notwithstanding, it is one of the most strik- 
ing of Liszt's piano compositions. 

BURMEISTER ARRANGEMENTS 

Richard Burmeister made an arrangement of 
Liszt's Concerto Pathetique in E minor by chang- 
ing its original form for two pianos into a concerto 
for piano solo with orchestral accompaniment. 
Until now the original has remained almost an 
unknown composition; partly for the reason 
that it needed for a performance two first rank 
piano virtuosi to master the extreme technical 
difficulties and partly that Liszt had chosen for 
it such a rhapsodical and whimsical form as 
to make it an absolutely ineffective concert piece. 
Even Hans von Biilow tried in a new edition to 
improve some passages by making them more 
consistent, but without success. 
177 



FRANZ LISZT 

However, as the concerto contains pathetic 
musical ideas, among the best Liszt conceived 
and is of too much value to be lost, Mr. Bur- 
meister ventured to give it a form by which he 
hopes to make it as popular as the famous E-flat 
major concerto by the same composer. The task 
was a rather risky one, as some radical changes 
had to be made and the cha.racter of the composi- 
tion preserved. 

To employ a comparison, Mr. Burmeister cut 
the concerto like a beautiful but badly tuned bell 
into pieces and melted and moulded it again 
into a new form. Some passages had to change 
places, some others to be omitted, others again 
repeated and enlarged. Mr. Burmeister went 
even so far as to add some of his own passages — 
for instance, a cadence at the beginning of the 
piano part, the end of the slow movement and a 
short fugato introducing the finale. As to the 
new form, the result now comes very near to a 
restoration of the old classical form : Allegro — 
Andante — Allegro. 

Mr. Burmeister has also made a very efifec- 
tive welding of Liszt's diabolic Mephisto Waltz 
for piano and orchestra which he has success- 
fully played in Germany. He also arranged the 
Fifth Hungarian Rhapsody for piano and orches- 
tra (Heroide — Elegiaque). To Mr. Burmeis- 
ter I am indebted for valuable information re- 
garding his beloved master Liszt, with whom he 
studied in Weimar, Rome and Budapest. 



178 



AS COMPOSER 



THE OPERATIC PARAPHRASES 

"It is commonly assumed that the first musi- 
cian who made a concert speech of the kind now 
so much in vogue was Hans von Biilow," says 
Mr. Finck. "Probably he was the first who 
made such speeches frequently, and he doubtless 
made the longest on record, when, on March 28, 
1892, he harangued a Philharmonic audience in 
Berlin on Beethoven and Bismarck; this address 
covers three pages of Billow's invaluable Briefe 
und Schriften. The first concert speech, how- 
ever, was made by that many-sided innovator, 
Franz Liszt, who tells about it in an amusing let- 
ter he wrote from Milan to the Paris Gazette 
Musicale, in 1837. It was about this time that 
he originated the custom of giving 'piano re- 
citals,' as he called them; that is, monologues by 
the solo pianist, without assisting artist or or- 
chestra. In Italy, where he first took to this 
habit, it was particularly risky, because the Ital- 
ians cared for little besides operatic pomp, vocal 
display, and strongly spiced musical effect. For 
pianists, in particular, they had little or no use. 
In those days (and times have not changed), a 
pianist travelling in Italy was wise if, in the words 
of Liszt, he 'pined for the sun rather than for 
fame, and sought repose rather than gold.' 

"He succeeded, nevertheless, in making the 
Italians interested in piano playing, but he had 
to stoop to conquer. When he played one of 
179 



FRANZ LISZT 

his own Etudes, a gentleman in the pit called out 
that he had come to the theatre to be entertained 
and not to hear a 'studio.' Liszt thereupon im- 
provised fantasias on Italian operatic melodies, 
which aroused tumultuous enthusiasm. He also 
asked the audiences, after the fashion of the time, 
to suggest themes for him to improvise on or top- 
ics for him to illustrate in tones. One auditor 
suggested the Milan Cathedral, another the rail- 
way, while a third sent up a paper asking Liszt 
to discuss on the piano the question: 'Is it better 
to marry or remain a bachelor ? ' This was a lit- 
tle too much even for the pianist, who was des- 
tined to become the supreme master of pro- 
gramme music, so he made a speech. To cite 
his own words: 'As I could only have answered 
this question after a long pause, I preferred to re- 
call to the audience the words of a wise man: 
"Whatever you do, marry or remain single, you 
will be sure to regret it." You see, my friend, 
that I have found a splendid means of rendering 
a concert cheerful when ennui makes it rather a 
cool duty than a pleasure. Was I wrong to say 
my Anch'io in this land of improvisation?' 

"The operatic fantasias which Liszt first im- 
provised for the Italians found great favour in 
other countries; so much so that eager publish- 
ers used to follow him from city to city, begging 
him to put them on paper, and allow them to 
print them. There are thirty-six of these fantasias 
in all, ranging from Sonnambula and Lucia to 
the operas of Meyerbeer, Verdi, and Wagner. 
i8o 



AS COMPOSER 

It has been the fashion among critics to sneer at 
them, but, as Saint-Saens has said, there is much 
pedantry and prejudice in these sneers. In struc- 
ture they are as artistic as the overtures to such 
operas as Zampa, Euryanthe, and Tannhauser, 
which likewise are 'practically nothing but fan- 
tasias on the operas which they introduce.' Ber- 
lioz was the first to point out how, in these pieces, 
Liszt actually improves on the originals; in the 
Robert the Devil fantasia, for instance, his in- 
genious way of combining the Bertram aria of the 
third act with the aria of the ballet of nuns pro- 
duced an 'indescribable dramatic effect.' What 
is more, these fantasias contain much of Liszt's 
own genius, not to speak of his wonderful pian- 
istic idiom. He scattered his own pearls and 
diamonds among them lavishly." 



THE ETUDES 

The late Edward Dannreuther, who changed 
his opinion of Liszt, wrote a short introduction 
to his edition of the Transcendental Studies 
(Augener & Co.) which is of interest. 

"The Etudes, which head the thematic cata- 
logue of Liszt's works, show, better than any- 
thing else, the transformation his style has under- 
gone; and for this reason it may be well to trace 
the growth of some of them. Etudes en douze 
exercices, par Francois Liszt, Op. i, were pub- 
lished at Marseilles in 1827. They were written 
181 



FRANZ LISZT 

during the previous year, Liszt being then under 
sixteen. The second set of Etudes, dediees a 
Monsieur Charles Czerny, appeared in 1839, but 
were cancelled; and the Etudes d'execution 
transcendante, again dedicated to Czerny, " en 
temoignage de reconnaissance et de respectueuse 
amitie de son elfeve," appeared in 1852. The now 
cancelled copy of the Etudes which Schumann 
had before him in 1839, when he wrote his brill- 
iant article, shows these studies to be more ex- 
travagant and, in some instances, technically 
more diflScult than even the final version. The 
germs of both the new versions are to be seen in 
the Op. I of 1827. Schumann transcribed a 
couple of bars from the beginning of Nos. i, 5, 9, 
and II, from both the new and old copies, and 
offered a few of his swift and apt comments. 
The various changes in these Etudes may be 
taken to represent the history of the pianoforte 
during the last half of the nineteenth century, 
from the 'Viennese Square' to the concert grand, 
from Czerny's Schule der Gelaufigkeit to Liszt's 
Danse macabre. Czerny might have written the 
original exercise No. i, but it would not have been 
so shapely a thing as Liszt's final version. The 
difference between the two versions of No. i is, 
however, considerably less than that which sep- 
arates Nos. 2, 3, and 4 from their predecessors. 
If the earlier and the later versions of No. 3 in F 
and No. 4 in D minor were signed by different 
composers, the resemblance between them would 
hardly attract notice. Of No. 2 little remains as 
182 



AS COMPOSER 

it stood at first. Instead of a reduction there is 
an increase (38 to 102) in the number of bars. 
Some harmonic commonplaces which disfigure 
the original, as, for instance, the detour to C 
(bars 9-16), have been removed. The remainder 
is enlarged, so as to allow of more extensive mod- 
ulation, and thus to avoid redundancy. A short 
introduction and a coda are added, and the dic- 
tion throughout is thrown into high relief. Pay- 
sage, No. 3 in F, has been subjected to further 
alteration since Schumann wrote about it. In 
his article he commends the second version as 
being more interesting than the first, and points 
to a change of movement from square to triple 
time, and to the melody which is superadded, as 
improvements. On the other hand he calls an 
episode in A major 'comparatively trivial,' and 
this, it may be noticed, is omitted in the final 
version. As it now stands, the piece is a test 
study for pianists who aim at refinement of style, 
tone, and touch. The Etude entitled Mazeppa 
is particularly characteristic of Liszt's power of 
endurance at the instrument, and it exhibits the 
gradual growth of his manner, from pianoforte 
exercises to symphonic poems in the manner of 
Berlioz. It was this Etude, together perhaps 
with Nos. 7 (Vision), 8 (Wilde Jagd), and 12 
(Chasse-neige), that induced Schumann to speak 
of the entire set as Wahre Sturm- und Graus- 
Etuden (Studies of storm and dread) , studies for, 
at the most, ten or twelve players in the world. 
The original of No. 5, in B flat, is a mere trifle, 

183 



FRANZ LISZT 

in the manner of J. B. Cramer — the final ver- 
sion entitled Feux follets is one of the most re- 
markable transformations extant, and perhaps 
the best study of the entire series, consistent in 
point of musical design and full of delicate tech- 
nical contrivances. Ricordanza, No. 9, and 
Harmonies du soir, No. 11, may be grouped to- 
gether as showing how a musical Stimmungsbild 
(a picture of a mood or an expression of senti- 
ment) can be evoked from rather trite beginnings. 
Schumann speaks of the melody in E major, 
which occurs in the middle of the latter piece, as 
"the most sincerely felt"; and in the last version 
it is much improved. Both pieces, Ricordanza 
and Harmonies du soir, show to perfection the 
sonority of the instrument in its various aspects. 
The latter piece. Harmonies du soir in the first, 
as well as in the final version, appears as a kind 
of Nocturne. No. 10, again, begins as though it 
were Czemy's (a) and in the cancelled edition 
is developed into an Etude of almost insuperable 
difl&culty (b). As finally rewritten, this study is 
possible to play and well worth playing (c). 

"No. 12 also has been recast and much manip- 
ulated, but there is no mending of weak timber. 
We must also mention Ab-Irato, an Etude in E 
minor cancelled and entirely rewritten; three 
Etudes de concert (the second of which has al- 
ready been mentioned as Chopinesque) ; and two 
fine Etudes, much later in date and of moderate 
difficulty, Waldesrauschen and Gnomentanz. 
The Paganini Studies, i.e., transcriptions in ri- 
184 



AS COMPOSER 

valry with Schumann of certain Caprices for 
the violin by Paganini, and far superior to Schu- 
mann's, do not call for detailed comment. They 
were several times rewritten (final edition, 1852) 
as Liszt, the virtuoso, came to distinguish be- 
tween proper pianoforte effects and mere hap- 
hazard bravura." 

The first version of the Ab-Irato was a contri- 
bution to Fetis' and Moscheles' Mdthode des Md- 
thodes, Paris, 1842, where it is designated Mor- 
ceau de Salon — Etude de Perfectionnement. 
The second version, Berlin, 1852, was presented 
as "entierement revue et corrigde par I'Auteur" 
and called Ab-Irato {i.e. in a rage, or in a fit of 
temper). It exceeds the first version by 28 bars 
and is a striking improvement, showing the 
growth of Liszt's technic and his constant 
effort to be emphatic and to avoid commonplace. 

No pianist can afford to ignore Liszt's 
Etudes — he may disparage them if he chooses, 
but he ought to be able to play them properly. 
We play the three B's, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, 
each from a somewhat different point of view. 
But these great men have this in common, that 
in each case, yet in a different degree, when we 
play their music we address the hearer's intel- 
lect rather than his nervous sensibility — though 
the latter is never excluded. With Liszt and his 
pupils the appeal is, often and without disguise, 
rather an appeal to the hearer's nerves; but the 
methods employed are, in the master's case at 
least, so very clever, and altogether hors ligne, 

185 



FRANZ LISZT 

that a musician's intelligence, too, may be de- 
lighted and stimulated. 

Of the B-minor sonata Dannreuther has writ- 
ten: 

" The work is a curious compound of true ge- 
nius and empty rhetoric, which contains enough 
of genuine impulse and originality in the themes 
of the opening section, and of suave charm in the 
melody of the section that stands for the slow 
movement, to secure the hearer's attention. Signs 
of weakness occur only in the centre, where, ac- 
cording to his wont, Liszt seems unable to resist 
the temptation to tear passion to tatters and 
strain oratory to bombast. None the less the So- 
nata is an interesting study, eminently success- 
ful in parts, and well worthy the attention of 
pianists. 

"Two Ballades, a Berceuse, aValse-impromptu, 
a Mazurka, and two Polonaises sink irretriev- 
ably if compared with Chopin's pieces similarly 
entitled. The Scherzo und Marsch in D mi- 
nor, an inordinately difficult and somewhat dry 
piece, falls short of its aim. Two legends, St. 
Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds, a clever 
and delicate piece, and St. Francis of Paula step- 
ping on the waves, a kind of Etude, are examples 
of picturesque and decorous programme music. 

" Liszt was also a master in the notation of pi- 
anoforte music — a very difficult matter indeed, 
and one in which even Chopin frequently erred. 
His method of notation coincides in the main 
with that of Beethoven, Berlioz, Wagner, and 

i86 



AS COMPOSER 

Brahms. Let the player accurately play what 
is set down and the result will be satisfactory. 
The perspicuity of certain pages of Liszt's ma- 
ture pianoforte pieces, such as the first two sets 
of Annees de pelerinage, Consolations, Sonata in 
B minor, the Concertos, the Danse macabre, and 
the Rhapsodies hongroises, cannot be surpassed. 
His notation often represents a condensed score, 
and every rest not absolutely necessary is avoided; 
again, no attempt is made to get a semblance of an 
agreement between the rhythmic division of the 
bar and the freedom of certain rapid ornamen- 
tal passages, but, on the other hand, everything 
essential to the rendering of accent or melody, 
to the position of the hands on the keyboard, 
to the details of special fingering and special 
pedalling, is faithfully recorded. Thus the most 
complex difficulties, as in the Fantaisies Dra- 
matiques, and even apparently uncontrollable 
effects of tempo rubato, as in the first fifteen Rhap- 
sodies or the Etude Ricordanza, or the Tre So- 
netti di Petrarca, are so closely indicated that the 
particular effect intended cannot be mistaken." 

THE MASSES AND THE PSALMS 

In his studies of Liszt's religious music, con- 
tributed to the Oxford History of Music, Ed- 
ward Dannreuther, then no longer a partisan of 
Liszt, said of his mass: 

"Among Liszt's many contributions to the 
repertoire of Catholic church music the Missa 
187 



FRANZ LISZT 

solemnis, known as the Graner Festmesse, is the 
most conspicuous. Written to order in 1855, 
performed at the Consecration of the Basilica 
at Gran, in Hungary, in 1856, it was Liszt's first 
serious effort in the way of church music proper, 
and shows him at his best in so far as personal 
energy and high aim are concerned. 'More 
prayed than composed,' he said, in 1856, when he 
wanted to smooth the way for it in Wagner's es- 
timation — ' more criticised than heard,' when it 
failed to please in the Church of St. Eustache, 
in Paris, in 1866. It certainly is an interesting 
and, in many ways, a remarkable work. 

" Liszt's instincts led him to perceive that the 
Catholic service, which makes a strong appeal to 
the senses, as well as to the emotions, was emi- 
nently suited to musical illustration. He thought 
his chance lay in the fact that the function as- 
signed to music in the ceremonial is mainly dec- 
orative, and that it would be possible to develop 
still further its emotional side. The Church 
employs music to enforce and embellish the 
Word. But the expansion of music is always 
controlled and in some sense limited by the 
Word — for the prescribed words are not sub- 
ject to change. Liszt, however, came to inter- 
pret the Catholic ritual in a histrionic spirit, and 
tried to make his music reproduce the words not 
only as ancilla theologica et ecclesiastica, but also 
as ancilla dramaturgica. The influence of Wag- 
ner's operatic method, as it appears in Tann- 
hauser, Lohengrin, and Das Rheingold, is 

188 



AS COMPOSER 

abundantly evident; but the result of this in- 
fluence is more curious than convincing. By the 
application of Wagner's system of Leitmotive to 
the text of the mass, Liszt succeeded in establish- 
ing some similarity between different movements, 
and so approached uniformity of diction. It 
will be seen, for example, that his way of identi- 
fying the motive of the Gloria with that of the 
Resurrexit and that of the Hosanna, or the mo- 
tive of the Sanctus and the Christie Eleison with 
that of the Benedictus, and also his way of re- 
peating the principal preceding motives in the 
'Dona nobis pacem,' especially the restatement, 
at its close, of the powerful motive of the Credo, 
has given to the work a musical unity which is 
not always in very clear accordance with the text. 
"In the Hungarian Coronation Mass (Un- 
garische Kronungsmesse, 1866-7) Liszt aimed at 
characteristic national colour, and tried to at- 
tain it by persistently putting forward some of the 
melodic formulae common to music of the Hun- 
garian type which occurs in the national Ra- 
koczy March and in numberless popular tunes 

— or an emphatic melisma known to everybody 
through the famous Rhapsodies. From begin- 
ning to end the popular Hungarian element is 
represented by devices of this kind in a manner 
which is always ingenious and well suited to the 
requirements of a national audience. 

"But the style of the entire Mass is as incon- 
gruous as a gipsy musician in a church vestment 

— doubly strange to students of the present day, 

189 



FRANZ LISZT 

who in Liszt's Rhapsodies and Brahms' Ungar- 
ische Tanze have become familiar with the rhyth- 
mical and melodic phrases of the Hungarian 
gipsy idiom, and who all along have known them 
in their most mundane aspect. Apart, however, 
from its incongruities of style, the Offertorium 
is a shapely composition with a distinct stamp 
of its own. 

" Liszt's manner of writing for solo and choral 
voices is generally practical and effective. The 
voice-parts are carefully written so as to lessen 
the difficulties of intonation which the many far- 
fetched modulations involve, and are skilfully 
disposed in point of sonority. The orchestration, 
always efficient, is frequently rich and beautiful." 

The opinion on this work, expressed in the 
Tagehlatt by Dr. Leopold Schmidt (who used to 
be an uncompromising opponent of Liszt), is il- 
luminative of the present status of the Liszt cult: 

"The Graner Messe is the older of Liszt's two 
Hungarian festival masses, and was composed in 
1855. The dispute as to its significance has lost 
its point in these days of emancipation from the 
embarrassments and prejudices of a former gen- 
eration. In church music, as in everything else, 
we now allow every writer to express his person- 
ality, and a personality with the poetic qualities 
of Liszt wins our sympathies at the outset. . . . 
The dramatic insistence on diverse details di- 
minishes the grandeur of the style; this method is 
out of place here, and is no adequate substitute 
for the might of the older form-language. All 
190 



AS COMPOSER 

the other peculiar traits of Liszt we find here : the 
pictorial element, the unconsciously theatrical 
(Wagner's influence is strongly felt), and the pre- 
ponderating of the instrumental over the vocal. 
Nevertheless, the Graner Messe is probably 
Liszt's most important and most personal crea- 
tion. The touching entreaty of the Kyrie, the 
beginning of the Gloria with its fabulously pic- 
torial effect, the F-sharp major part of the Credo 
are beauties of a high order. The final portions 
are less inspired, the impression is weakened; but 
we learn to love this work for many tender lyric 
passages, for the original treatment of the text, 
and the genuine piety which pervades and enno- 
bles it." This mass was sung at the Worces- 
ter festival in 1909 under the conductorship of 
Arthur Mees. 

In St. Elisabeth, which is published as a con- 
cert oratorio, Dannreuther thinks that Liszt 
has produced something like an opera sacra. 
Lina Ramann said that when the work was per- 
formed with scenic accessories it came as a sur- 
prise to the composer. He took his cue from the 
order of Moritz v. Schwindt's frescoes, which 
illustrate the history of Elisabeth of Hungary in 
the restored hall of the Wartburg at Eisenach 
and planned six scenes for which Otto Roquette 
furnished the verse. The scenes are : the arrival 
of the child from Hungary — a bright sunny pic- 
ture; the rose miracle — a forest and garden 
scene; the Crusaders — a picture of Medaeival 
pageantry; Elisabeth's expulsion from the Wart- 

191 



FRANZ LISZT 

burg — a stormy nocturne; Elisabeth's death, 
solemn burial, and canonisation. Five sections 
belong to the dramatic presentation of the story. 
The sixth and last, the burial and canonisation, 
is an instrumental movement which serves as a 
prologue. The leitmotive, five in number, con- 
sist of melodies of a popular type. 

William J. Henderson, who can hardly be ac- 
cused of being a Lisztianer, wrote of the St. Elisa- 
beth — after a performance some years ago in 
Brooklyn at the Academy of Music, under the 
conductorship of Walter Hall — as follows : 

"To the great majority of the hearers, and to 
most of the performers, the work must have been 
a novelty, and had the attraction of curiosity. 
It is an early attempt at that dramatic narration, 
with an illusive * atmosphere ' supplied by the or- 
chestra, which has been so extensively practised 
since its composition. If Liszt had had the ad- 
vantage of his own experiment, and of the sub- 
sequent failures and successes of other composers 
in the same attempt, no doubt his work would 
have been more uniformly successful. As it is, 
no work which is heard in New York but once 
in twenty years can be called a popular success. 
It is true that it is worth a hearing oftener than 
that. True, also, that in Prague, with the ad- 
vantage of costumes and scenery, it had a 'run' 
of some sixty nights. There is a strongly patri- 
otic Magyar strain both in the book and in the 
music, which would account for popular success 
in Hungary, if not in Bohemia. But it must be 

192 



AS COMPOSER 

owned that the orchestral introduction is tedious, 
and much of the music of the first part a very dry 
recitative. In this respect, however, the work 
acquires strength by going. The Crusaders' 
March, which ends the first part, is so effective 
an orchestral number that it is odd it should 
never be done in the concert room. In the sec- 
ond part, much of the music allotted to Elisabeth 
is melodious and pathetic, the funeral scene and 
the funeral march are effective ensemble writing, 
and the last series of choruses, largely of churchly 
'plain song' for the voices with elaborate or- 
chestral embroidery, are impressive and even 
majestic." 

In 1834 Liszt wrote to the Gazette Musicale and 
described his own and Berlioz's ideal of romantic 
religious music thus: "For want of a better term 
we may well call the new music Humanitarian. 
It must be devotional, strong, and drastic, uniting 
— on a colossal scale — the theatre and the 
church, dramatic and sacred, superb and simple, 
fiery and free, stormy and calm, translucent and 
emotional." Berlioz played up to this romantic 
programme even better than Liszt. Need we ad- 
duce the tremendous Requiem ! Liszt's Graner- 
messe follows a close second. 

Even if Liszt's bias was essentially histrionic 
his oratorio Christus (1863-1873) is his largest 
and most sustained effort and the magnum opus 
of his later years; you may quite agree with 
Dannreuther that its conception is Roman Cath- 
olic, devotional, and contemplative in a Roman 

193 



FRANZ LISZT 

Catholic sense both in style and intended effect. 
It contains nothing that is not in some way con- 
nected with the Catholic ritual or the Catholic 
spirit; and, more than any other work of its com- 
poser, continues our critic, recognises and obeys 
the restrictions imposed by the surroundings of 
the Church service. The March of the Three 
Kings was inspired by a picture in the Cologne 
Cathedral. The Beatitudes and the Stabat Mater 
Dolorosa contain pathetic and poignant writing. 
" Liszt's Thirteenth Psalm is of especial im- 
portance, because the epoch-making ecclesiastical 
music of the great composer is as yet so little 
known in America," declares Mr. Finck. " This 
is the real music of the future for the church, and 
it is inspired as few things are in the whole range 
of music. Liszt himself considered it one of his 
master-works. In one of his letters to Brendel, 
he says that it * is one of those I have worked out 
most fully, and contains two fugue movements 
and a couple of passages which were written with 
tears of blood.' He had reason to write with 
tears of blood; he had given to the world a new 
orchestral form, had found new paths for sacred 
music, had done more as a missionary for his art 
than any other three masters, yet contemporane- 
ous criticism was as bitter against him as if he 
had been an invading Hun. To him the Psalm- 
ist's words, 'How long shall they that hate me, 
be exalted against me?' had a meaning which 
could indeed be recorded only in 'tears of 
blood.' There is a pathos in this psalm that one 
194 



AS COMPOSER 

would seek for in vain in any other sacred work 
since Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. Liszt him- 
self has well described it in the letter referred to 
(vol. II, p. 72) : * Were any one of my more recent 
works likely to be performed at a concert with 
orchestra and chorus, I would recommend this 
psalm. Its poetic subject welled up plenteously 
out of my soul; and besides I feel as if the musi- 
cal form did not roam about beyond the given 
tradition. It requires a lyrical tenor; in his song 
he must be able to pray, to sigh, and lament, to 
become exalted, pacified, and bibhcally inspired. 
Orchestra and chorus, too, have great demands 
made upon them. Superficial or ordinarily care- 
ful study would not suffice.' " 

This superb psalm, performed at the recent 
Birmingham Musical Festival, recalls to an Eng- 
lish critic an interesting comment of the compo- 
ser's in regard to that particular work. When Sir 
Alexander Mackenzie met Liszt in Florence sev- 
eral years ago. Sir Alexander said he was glad 
to tell him (Liszt) that a performance of his Thir- 
teenth Psalm had been announced in England. 
A grim smile passed over the face of the great 
composer as he replied: "O Herr, wie lang?" 
("O Lord, how long?"), the opening words of 
the psalm. 

Mr. Richard Aldrich writes of the Angelus as 
follows : 

" The little Angelus of Liszt is one of the very 
few pieces of chamber music that he composed 
— his genius was more at home upon the piano- 

195 



FRANZ LISZT 

forte, in the orchestra and in the massive effects 
of choral singing. This piece has the character 
suggested in its subtitle : * Prayer to the Guard- 
ian Angels,' and is an expression of the deeply 
religious, mystical side of his nature that led him 
to take holy orders in the Church of Rome. It 
was originally written for a string quartet, but 
the master added a fifth part for contrabass for 
a performance of it given in London in 1884 by 
a large string orchestra under the direction of his 
pupil, Walter Bache. It is given this afternoon 
in this form. The sense of yearning, of aspira- 
tion and of spiritual elevation toward celestial 
things is what the composer has aimed to embody 
in the music. After brief preluding on the muted 
strings (without the contrabass) the first violins 
take up a sustained cantabile that soon rises to 
a fervent climax, fortissimo, and breaking into 
triplets reaches the highest positions on the first 
violin, accompanied by full and vibrant harmony 
on the other instruments, as though publishing 
feelings of the utmost exaltation. There is a 
pause and the piece ends with the quiet feeling 
in which it began." 

" A most welcome novelty is the Chorus of An- 
gels, composed by Liszt in 1849 for the celebra- 
tion of the hundredth birthday of Goethe," said 
Mr. Finck. " It is a setting of some of the most 
mystical lines in Faust, originally written for mixed 
voices and pianoforte, and subsequently arranged 
for women's voices and harp. Mr. Damrosch 
used Zoellner's arrangement for choir and orches- 
196 



AS COMPOSER 

tra, and in this version it proved to be one of the 
most ethereal and fascinating of Liszt's creations. 
"Now that Mr. Damrosch has begun to ex- 
plore the stores of Liszt's choral music he will 
doubtless bring to light many more of these hid- 
den treasures. In doing so he will simply follow 
in the footsteps of his father, who was one of 
Liszt's dearest friends, and who steadily preached 
his gospel in New York. Of this good work an 
interesting illustration is given in the eighth vol- 
ume of Liszt's letters, issued a few weeks ago by 
Breitkopf & Hartel. On December 27, 1876, 
Liszt wrote to Leopold Damrosch: 

" 'Esteemed Friend: A few days ago I sent 
you the score of my Triomphe funfebre du Tasse. 
This funeral ode came into my mind on the street 
of Tasso's Lament and Triumph, in which I of- 
ten walk on the way to my residence on the 
Monte Mario. The enclosed commentary on it 
— based on the Tasso biography of Pier Antonio 
Serassi — I beg you to print on your concert pro- 
gramme in a good English translation. 

" 'I trust that this work may be received in 
New York with the same favor that has been ac- 
corded to some of my other compositions. Amid 
the incessant European fault-finding, the Ameri- 
can kindness gives me some consolation. Once 
more, I thank my esteemed friend Damrosch for 
his admirable interpretations of my works, and 
remain his cordially devoted 

" 'Franz Liszt.' " 

197 



FRANZ LISZT 



THE RAKOCZY MARCH 

When Prince Franz Rakoczy II (1676-1735), 
with his young wife, the Princess Amalie Carohne 
of Hesse, made his state entry into his capital of 
Eperjes, his favourite musician, the court viohn- 
ist Michael Barna, composed a march in honour 
of the illustrious pair and performed it with his 
orchestra. This march had originally a festive 
character, but was revised by Barna. He had 
heard that his noble patron, after having made 
peace with the Emperor Leopold I in 1711, was, 
in spite of the general amnesty, again planning a 
national rising against the Austrian house. Barna 
flung himself at the prince's feet and with tears 
in his eyes, cried " O gracious Prince, you aban- 
don happiness to chase nothing!" To touch his 
master's heart he took his violin and played the 
revised melody with which he had welcomed the 
prince, then happy and in the zenith of his power. 
Rakoczy died in Turkey, where he, with some 
faithful followers, among them the gipsy chief 
Barna, lived in exile. 

This Rakoczy March, full of passion, tempera- 
ment, sorrow, and pain, soon became popular 
among the music loving gipsies as well as among 
the Hungarian people. The first copy of the 
Rakoczy March came from Carl Vaczek, of Jas- 
zo, in Hungary, who died in 1828, aged ninety- 
three. Vaczek was a prominent dilettante in 
music, who had often appeared as flautist before 
198 



AS COMPOSER 

the Vienna Court, and enjoyed the reputation of 
a great musical scholar. Vaczek heard the Rak- 
oczy March from a granddaughter of Michael 
Barna, a gipsy girl of the name of Panna Czinka, 
who was famous in her time for her beauty and 
her noble vioHn playing throughout all Hungary. 
Vaczek wrote down the composition and handed 
the manuscript to the violinist Ruzsitska. He 
used the Rakoczy Lied as the basis of a greater 
work by extending the original melody by a 
march and a "battle music." All three parts 
formed a united whole. 

The original melody composed by Michael 
Barna remained, however, the one preferred by 
the Hungarian people. In the Berlioz transcrip- 
tion the composition of Ruzsitska was partially 
employed. Berlioz worked together the original 
melody; that is, the Rakoczy Lied proper, and 
the battle music of Ruzsitska and placed them 
in his Damnation de Faust. 

The Rakoczy March owes its greatest public- 
ity to the above named Panna Czinka. The gipsy 
girl's great talent as a violonist was recognised 
by her patron, Joann von Lanyi, who had her 
educated in the Upper Hungarian city of Ro- 
zsnyo, where as a pupil of a German kapellmeis- 
ter she received adequate musical instruction. 
When she was fifteen she married a gipsy, who 
was favourably known as the player of the viola 
de gamba in Hungary. With her husband and 
his two brothers, who also were good musicians, 
she travelled through all Hungary and attracted 
199 



FRANZ LISZT 

great attention, especially by the Rakoczy March. 
Later her orchestra, over which she presided till 
her death, consisted only of her sons. Her fa- 
vourite instrument, a noble Amati, which had 
been presented to her by the Archbishop of 
Czaky, was, in compliance with her wishes ex- 
pressed in life, buried with her. 

The Rakoczy March has meanwhile under- 
gone countless revisions, of which the most im- 
portant is beyond doubt that of Berlioz. 

Berlioz composed this march while in Hun- 
gary, and had it performed there. Its first per- 
formance at Pesth led to a scene of excitement 
which is one of the best-remembered incidents in 
Berhoz's life. In consequence of its success, 
Berhoz was asked to leave the original score in 
Pesth, which he did; requesting, however, to be 
furnished with a copy without the Coda, as he 
intended to rewrite that section. The new Coda 
is the one always played now, the old one having 
indeed disappeared. 

Liszt's arrangement of the same march, it may 
be remembered, led to a debate in the Hungarian 
Diet, in which M. Tisza spoke of the march as 
the work of Franz Rakoczy II. He was wrong; 
and so was Berlioz mistaken in saying that it is 
by an unknown composer. Its real author, ac- 
cording to a statement quoted by Liszt's biogra- 
pher, Miss Ramann, was a military band master 
named Scholl. Liszt had really made his tran- 
scription in 1840, but refrained, out of respect for 
Berlioz, from publishing it till 1870. 
200 



VI 

MIRRORED BY HIS CON- 
TEMPORARIES 

VON LENZ 

The Russian councillor and the author of the 
well-known work, Beethoven et Ses Trois Styles, 
has contributed quite a small library of articles 
on Liszt, but as it is impossible to quote all of 
them, we select the following, which refers more 
particularly to his own intimacy and first ac- 
quaintance with the great musician: 

"In 1828 I had come to Paris, at the age of 
nineteen, to continue my studies there, and, more- 
over, as before, to take lessons on the piano; now, 
however, with Kalkbrenner. Kalkbrenner was 
a man of Hebrew extraction, bom in Berlin; and 
in Paris under Charles X he was the Joconde of 
the drawing-room piano. Kalkbrenner was a 
Knight of the Legion of Honour, and the fair 
Camille Mock, afterward Madame Pleyel, who 
was not indifferent to Chopin or Liszt, was the 
favourite pupil of the irresistible Kalkbrenner. 
I heard her, between Kalkbrenner and Onslow, 
play in the sextuor of the last named composer 
at the house of Baron Tremont, a tame musical 
261 



FRANZ LISZT 

Maecenas of that day in Paris. She played the 
piano as a pretty Parisian wears an elegant shoe. 
Nevertheless I was in danger of becoming Kalk- 
brenner's pupil, but my stars and Liszt willed it 
otherwise. Already on the way to Kalkbrenner 
(who plays a note of his now?), I came to the 
boulevards, and read on the theatre bills of the 
day, which had much attraction for me, the an- 
nouncement of an extra concert to be given by 
Liszt at the Conservatoire (it was in November), 
with the piano concerto of Beethoven, in E fiat, 
at the head. At that time Beethoven was, and 
not in Paris only, a Paracelsus in the concert 
room. I only knew this much of him, that I had 
been very much afraid of the very black-looking 
notes in his D-major trio and choral fantasia, 
which I had once and again looked over in a 
music shop of my native town, Riga, in which 
there was much more done in business than in 
music. 

"If any one had told me as I stood there inno- 
cently, and learned from the factotum that there 
were such things as piano concertos by Bee- 
thoven, that I should ever write six volumes in 
German and two in French on Beethoven! I had 
heard of a septet, but the musician who wrote that 
was called J. N. Hummel. 

" From the bill on the boulevards I concluded, 
however, that anyone who could play a concerto 
of Beethoven in public must be a very wonderful 
fellow, and of quite a different breed from Kalk- 
brenner, the composer of the fantasia, Effusio 
202 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

Musica. That this Effusio was mere rubbish I 
already understood, young and heedless though 
I was. 

" In this way, on the then faithful boulevards of 
Paris, I met for the first time in my life the name 
of Liszt, which was to fill the world. This bill of 
the concert was destined to exert an important in- 
fluence on my life. I can still see, after so many 
years, the colours of the important paper — 
thick monster letters on a yellow ground — the 
fashionable colour at the time in Paris. I went 
straight to Schlesinger's, then the musical ex- 
change of Paris, Rue Richelieu. 

" 'Where does Mr. Liszt live?' Tasked, and 
pronounced it Litz, for the Parisians have never 
got any further with the name of Liszt than Litz. 

"The address of Liszt was Rue Montholon; 
they gave it me at Schlesinger's without hesita- 
tion. But when I asked the price of Litz, and 
expressed my wish to take lessons from him, they 
all laughed at me, and the shopmen behind the 
counters tittered, and all said at once, * He never 
gives a lesson; he is no professor of the piano!' 

"I felt that I must have asked something very 
foolish. But the answer, no professor of the pi- 
ano, pleased me nevertheless, and I went straight- 
way to the Rue Montholon. 

" Liszt was at home. That was a great rarity, 
said his mother, an excellent woman with a true 
German heart, who pleased me very much; her 
Franz was almost always in church, and no longer 
occupied himself with music at all. Those were 
203 



FRANZ LISZT 

the days when Liszt wished to become a Saint- 
Simonist. It was a great time, and Paris the 
centre of the world. There lived Rossini and 
Cherubini, also Auber, Halevy, Berlioz and the 
great violinist, Baillot; the poet, Victor Hugo, 
had lately published his Orientales, and Lamar- 
tine was recovering from the exertion of his 
Meditations Poetiques. Georges Sand was not 
yet fairly discovered; Chopin not yet in Paris. 
Marie Taglioni danced tragedies at the Grand 
Opera; Habeneck, a German conductor, di- 
rected the picked orchestra of the Conservatoire, 
where the Parisians, a year after Beethoven's 
death, for the first time heard something of him. 
Malibran and Sontag sang at the Italian Opera 
the Tournament duet in Tancredi. It was in 
the winter of 1828-9 Baillot played quartets; 
Rossini gave his Guillaume Tell in the spring. 

"In Liszt I found a thin, pale-looking young 
man, with infinitively attractive features. He 
was lounging, deep in thought, lost in himself on 
a broad sofa, and smoking a long Turkish pipe, 
with three pianos standing around him. He made 
not the slightest movement on my entrance, but 
rather appeared not to notice me at all. When I 
explained to him that my family had directed 
me to Kalkbrenner, but I came to him because he 
wished to play a concerto by Beethoven in pub- 
lic, he seemed to smile. But it was only as the 
glitter of a dagger in the sun. 

" 'Play me something,' he said, with inde- 
scribable satire, which, however, had nothing to 
204 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

wound in it, just as no harm is done by summer 
lightning. 

" 'I play the sonata for the left hand (pour la 
main gauche principale), by Kalkbrenner,' I said, 
and thought I had said something correct. 

" 'That I will not hear; I don't know it, and 
don't wish to,' he answered, with increased satire 
and suppressed scorn. 

" I felt that I was playing a pitiful part — do- 
ing penance, perhaps, for others, for Parisians; 
but I said to myself, the more I looked at this 
young man, that this Parisian (for such he seemed 
to be by his whole appearance) must be a genius, 
and I would not without further skirmishes be 
beaten off the field. I went with modest but firm 
step to the piano standing nearest to me. 

" 'Not that one,' cried Liszt, without in the 
least changing his half reclining position on the 
sofa; 'there, to that other one.' 

" I stepped to the second piano. At that time 
I was absorbed in the ' Auff orderung zum Tanz ' ; 
I had married it for love two years before, and 
we were still in our honeymoon. I came from 
Riga, where, after the unexampled success of the 
'Freischiitz, we had reached the piano composi- 
tions of Weber, which did not happen till long 
after in Paris, where the Freischiitz was called 
Robin des Bois(!). I learnt from good masters. 
When I tried to play the first three A-flats of the 
Aufforderung, the instrument gave no sound. 
What was the matter? I played forcibly, and 
the notes sounded quite piano. I seemed to my- 
205 



FRANZ LISZT 

self quite laughable, but without taking any no- 
tice I went bravely on to the first entry of the 
chords; then Liszt rose, stepped up to me, took 
my right hand without more ado off the instru- 
ment, and asked: 

" 'What is that? That begins well!' 
" 'I should think so,' I said; * that is by Weber,' 
" 'Has he written for the piano, too?' he asked 
with astonishment. 'We only know here the 
Robin des Bois.' 

" ' Certainly he has written for the piano, and 
more finely than any one!' was my equally as- 
tonished answer. 'I have in my trunk,' I added, 
'two polonaises, two rondos, four sets of varia- 
tions, four solo sonatas, one which I learned with 
Wehrstaedt, in Geneva, which contains the whole 
of Switzerland, and is incredibly beautiful; there 
all the fair women smile at once. It is in A flat. 
You can have no idea how beautiful it is! No- 
body has written so for the piano, you may be- 
lieve me.' 

"I spoke from my heart, and with such con- 
viction that I made a visible impression on Liszt. 
He answered in a winning tone : ' Now, pray bring 
me all that out of your trunk and I will give you 
lessons for the first time in my life, because you 
have introduced me to Weber on the piano, and 
also were not frightened at this heavy instrument. 
I ordered it on purpose, so as to have played ten 
scales when I had played one. It is an alto- 
gether impracticable piano. It was a sorry joke 
of mine. But why did you talk about Kalk- 

206 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

brenner, and a sonata by him for the left hand ? 
But now play me that thing of yours that begins 
so seriously. There, that is one of the finest 
instruments in Paris — there, where you were 
going to sit down first.' 

" Now I played with all my heart the * Auf- 
forderung,' but only the melody marked wie- 
gend, in two parts. Liszt was charmed with 
the composition. 'Now bring that,' he said; 
* I must have a turn at that!' 

"At our first lesson Liszt could not tear him- 
self away from the piece. He repeated single 
parts again and again, sought increased effects, 
gave the second part of the minor in octaves and 
was inexhaustible in praise of Weber. With 
Weber's sonata in A flat Liszt was perfectly de- 
lighted. 1 had studied it in much love with Wehr- 
staedt at Geneva, and gave it throughout in the 
spirit of the thing. This Liszt testified by the 
way in which he listened, by lively gestures and 
movements, by exclamations about the beauty of 
the composition, so that we worked at it with 
both our heads! This great romantic poem for 
the piano begins, as is well known, with a tre- 
molo of the bass on A flat. Never had a so- 
nata opened in such a manner! It is as sunshine 
over the enchanted grove in which the action 
takes place. The restlessness of my master be- 
came so great over the first part of this allegro 
that even before its close he pushed me aside with 
the words, 'Wait! wait! What is that? I must 
go at that myself!' Such an experience one had 
207 



FRANZ LISZT 

never met with. Imagine a genius like Liszt, 
twenty years old, for the first time in the pres- 
ence of such a master composition of Weber, be- 
fore the apparition of this knight in golden ar- 
mour! 

"He tried his first part over and over again 
with the most various intentions. At the passage 
in the dominant (E flat) at the close of the first 
part (a passage, properly speaking, the sonata 
has not; one might call it a charming clarinet 
phrase interwoven with the idea) Liszt said, 'It 
is marked legato. Now, would not one do it 
better pp. and staccato ? Yet there is a leggiera- 
mente as well." He experimented in all direc- 
tions. In this way it was given me to observe 
how one genius looks upon another and appreci- 
ates him for himself. 

" 'Now what is the second part of the first al- 
legro like?' asked Liszt, and looked at it. It 
seemed to me simply impossible that any one 
could read at sight this thematic development, 
with octaves piled one on another for whole pages. 

" 'This is very difficult,' said Liszt, 'yet harder 
still is the coda,' and the combining of the whole 
in this close, here at this centrifugal figure (thir- 
teenth bar before the end). The passage (in 
the second part, naturally in the original key of 
Aflat), moreover, we must not play staccato; 
that would be somewhat affected; but we must 
also not play it legato; it is too thin for that. 
We'll do it spiccato; let us swim between the 
two waters.' 

208 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"If I had wondered at the fire and life, the 
pervading passion in the delivery of the first part 
by Liszt, I was absolutely astonished in the sec- 
ond part at his triumphant repose and certainty, 
and the self-control with which he reserved all 
his force for the last attack. ' So young, and so 
wise ! ' I said to myself, and was bewildered, ab- 
sorbed, discouraged. 

" In the andante of the sonata I learned in the 
first four bars more from Liszt than in years from 
my former good teachers. 'You must give out 
this opening just as Baillot plays a quartet; the 
accompanying parts consist of the detached semi- 
quavers, but Bailot's parts are very good, and 
yours must not be worse. You have a good 
hand, and can learn it. Try it, it is not easy; one 
might move stones with it. I can just imagine 
how the hussars of the piano tear it to pieces! 
I shall never forget that it is through you I have 
learned to know the sonata. Now you shall 
learn something from me; I will tell you all I 
know about our instrument.' 

"The demi-semiquaver figure in the bass (at 
the thirty-fifth bar of this andante) is heard only 
too often given out as a 'passage' for the left 
hand; the figure should be delivered caressingly 
— it should be an amorous violoncello solo. In 
this manner Liszt played it, but gave out in fear- 
ful majesty the outbursts of octaves on the second 
subject in C major, that Henselt calls the 'Ten 
Commandments ' — an excellent designation. 
And now, as for menuetto capriccioso and rondo 
209 



FRANZ LISZT 

of the sonata. How shall I describe what Liszt 
made of these genial movements on a first ac- 
quaintance? How he treated the clarinet solo 
in the trio of the menuetto, and the winding of 
the rondo? How Liszt glorified Weber on the 
piano; how like an Alexander he marched in 
triumphant procession with Weber (especially 
in the * Concertstuck') through Europe, the world 
knows, and future times will speak of it" 



BERLIOZ 

In the preface to Berlioz's published Corre- 
spondence, is the following account of Liszt's 
evenings with the great French composer and his 
first wife: 

"The first years of their married life were full 
of both hardship and charm. The new estab- 
lishment, the revenues of which amounted, to be- 
gin with, to a lump sum of 300 francs, was mi- 
gratory — at one time in the Rue Neuve Saint- 
Marc, at another at Montmartre, and then in a 
certain Rue Saint-Denis of which it is impossible 
now to find trace. Liszt lived in the Rue de 
Province, and paid frequent visits to the young 
couple; they spent many evenings together, when 
the great pianist would play Beethoven's sonatas 
in the dark, in order to produce a greater im- 
pression. In his turn, Berlioz took up the cud- 
gels for his friend in the newspapers to which 
he was accustomed to contribute — the Corre- 
210 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

spondent, the Revue Europienne and, lastly, the 
Debats. How angry he became when the vola- 
tile Parisians attempted to espouse the cause of 
Thalberg against his rival! A lion showing his 
teeth could not have appeared more formidable. 
Death to him who dared to say Liszt was not the 
first pianist of all time, past, present, and to come ! 
And when the critic enunciated any musical 
axiom as being beyond discussion, he really 
thought it so, for he never went against his own 
convictions, and bore himself in regard to medi- 
ocrities with a contempt savouring of rudeness. 
Liszt after all gave him back measure for meas- 
ure, transcribing the Symphonie Fantastique, 
and playing at the numerous concerts which the 
young maestro gave during the winter with ever 
increasing success." 

In 1830, after many repeated failures Berlioz 
won the much coveted "Prix de Rome" at the 
Paris Conservatoire, which entitled him to re- 
side three years in Italy at the expense of the 
French Government. Before he started for the 
musical land of promise, Berlioz gave two con- 
certs, and relates in his Memoirs the circum- 
stances under which he first became acquainted 
with Liszt: 

"On the day before the concert I received a 
visit from Liszt, whom I had never yet seen. I 
spoke to him of Goethe's Faust, which he was 
obliged to confess he had not read, but about 
which he soon became as enthusiastic as myself. 
We were strongly attracted to one another, and 
211 



FRANZ LISZT 

our friendship has increased in warmth and depth 
ever since. He was present at the concert, and 
excited general attention by his applause and en- 
thusiasm." 

When Berlioz gave his first concert in Paris, 
after his return from Italy, he wrote: 

"Weber's Concertstiick, played by Liszt with 
the overpowering vehemence which he always 
puts into it, obtained a splendid success. Indeed 
I so far forgot myself, in my enthusiasm for Liszt, 
as publicly to embrace him on the stage — a stu- 
pid impropriety which might have covered us 
both with ridicule had the spectators been dis- 
posed to laugh." 

Liszt's and Berlioz intimacy was renewed at 
Prague, as will be seen from the composer's 
account: 

"I gave six concerts at Prague, either in the 
theatre or in Sophie's concert room. At the lat- 
ter I remember to have had the delight of per- 
forming my symphony of Romeo and Juliet for 
Liszt for the first time. Several movements of 
the work were already known in Prague. . . . 

"That day, having already encored several 
pieces, the public called for another, which the 
band implored me not to repeat; but as the 
shouts continued Mr. Mildner took out his watch, 
and held it up to show that the hour was too far 
advanced to allow of the orchestra remaining 
till the end of the concert if the piece was played 
a second time, since there was an opera at 7 
o'clock. This clever pantomime saved us. At 
212 



MIRRORED BY fflS CONTEMPORARIES 

the end of the stance, just as I was begging Liszt 
to serve as my interpreter, and thank the excel- 
lent singers, who had been devoting themselves 
to the careful study of my choruses for the last 
three weeks and had sung them so bravely, he 
was interrupted by them with an inverse pro- 
posal. Having exchanged a few words with 
them in German, he turned to me and said: 
'My commission is changed; these gentlemen 
rather desire me to thank you for the pleasure 
you have given them in allowing them to per- 
form your work, and to express their delight at 
your evident satisfaction. ' " 

At a banquet in honour of Berlioz the com- 
poser says: 

" Liszt was unanimously chosen to make the 
presentation speech instead of the chairman, who 
had not sufl&cient acquaintance with the French 
language. At the first toast he made me, in the 
name of the assembly, an address at least a 
quarter of an hour long, with a warmth of spirit, 
an abundance of ideas and a choice of expres- 
sions, which excited the envy of the orators pres- 
ent, and by which I was profoundly touched. 
Unhappily, if he spoke well, he also drank well 
— the treacherous cup inaugurated by the con- 
vives held such floods of champagne that all 
Liszt's eloquence made shipwreck in it. Belloni 
and I were still in the streets of Prague at 2 
o'clock in the morning persuading him to wait 
for daylight before exchanging shots at two paces 
with a Bohemian who had drunk better than him- 
213 



FRANZ LISZT 

self. When day came we were not without anxi- 
ety about Liszt, whose concert was to take place 
at noon. At half-past eleven he was still sleeping; 
at last some one awoke him; he jumped into a 
cab, reached the hall, was received with three 
rounds of applause and played as I believe he has 
never played in his life before." 

Berlioz, in his A Travers Chants, relates the 
following incident: 

'' One day Listz was playing the adagio of 
Beethoven's sonata in C-sharp minor before a lit- 
tle circle of friends, of which I formed part, and 
followed the manner he had then adopted to gain 
the applause of the fashionable world. Instead 
of those long sustained notes, and instead of strict 
uniformity of rhythm, he overlaid it with trills 
and the tremolo. I suffered cruelly, I must con- 
fess — more than I have ever suffered in hearing 
our wretched cantatrices embroider the grand 
air in the ' Freischutz ' ; for to this torture was 
added my distress at seeing an artist of his stamp 
falling into the snare which, as a rule, only besets 
mediocrities. But what was to be done? Liszt 
was then like a child, who when he stumbles, likes 
to have no notice taken, but picks himself up 
without a word and cries if anybody holds him 
out a hand. He had picked himself up splen- 
didly. A few years afterward one of those men of 
heart and soul that artists are always happy to 
come across (Mr. Legouve), had invited a small 
party of friends — I was one of them. 

"Liszt came during the evening, and finding 
214 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

the conversation engaged on the valuable piece 
by Weber, and why when he played it at a recent 
concert he had received a rather sorry reception, 
he went to the piano to reply in this manner to 
Weber's antagonists. The argument was unan- 
swerable, and we were obliged to acknowledge that 
a work of genius was misunderstood. As he 
/ was about to finish, the lamp which lighted the 
apartment appeared very soon to go out; one of 
us was going to relight it: 'Leave it alone,' I said 
to him; *if he will play the adagio of Beethoven's 
sonata in C-sharp minor this twilight will not 
spoil it.' 

"'Willingly,* said Liszt; 'but put the lights 
out altogether; cover the fire that the obscurity 
may be more complete.' Then, in the midst of 
darkness, after a moment's pause, rose in its 
sublime simplicity the noble elegy he had once so 
strangely disfigured; not a note, not an accent was 
added to the notes and the accents of the author. 
It was the shade of Beethoven, conjured up by the 
virtuoso to whose voice we were listening. We 
all trembled in silence, and when the last chord 
had sounded no one spoke — we were in tears." 

Berlioz in a letter to Liszt wrote as follows to 
the pianist on his playing: 

" On my return from Heckingen I stayed some 
days longer at Stuttgart, a prey to new perplexi- 
ties. You, my dear Liszt, know nothing of these 
uncertainties; it matters little to you whether the 
town to which you go has a good orchestra, whether 
the theatre be open or the manager place it at 

215 



FRANZ LISZT 

your disposal, etc. Of what use indeed would 
such information be to you ? With a slight mod- 
ification of the famous mot of Louis XIV you 
may say with confidence, I myself am orchestra, 
chorus, and conductor. I make my piano dream 
or sing at pleasure, re-echo with exulting har- 
monies and rival the most skilful bow in swift- 
ness. Neither theatre, nor long rehearsals, for 
I want neither musicians nor music. 

" Give me a large room and a grand piano, and 
I am at once master of a great audience. I have 
but to appear before it to be overwhelmed with 
applause. My memory awakens, my fingers 
give birth to dazzling fantasias, which call forth 
enthusiastic acclamations. I have but to play 
Schubert's Ave Maria or Beethoven's Adelaide 
to draw every heart to myself, and make each 
one hold his breath. The silence speaks; ad- 
miration is intense and profound. Then come 
the fiery shells, a veritable bouquet of grand fire- 
works, the acclamations of the public, flowers 
and wreaths showered upon the priest of harmony 
as he sits quivering on his tripod, beautiful young 
women kissing the hem of his garment with tears 
of sacred frenzy; the sincere homage of the seri- 
ous, the feverish applause forced from the en- 
vious, the intent faces, the narrow hearts amazed 
at their own expansiveness. And perhaps next 
day the inspired young genius departs, leaving 
behind him a trail of dazzling glory and enthu- 
siasm. It is a dream ! It is one of those golden 
dreams inspired by the name of Liszt or Paga- 
216 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

nini. But the composer who, like myself, must 
travel to make his work known, has, on the con- 
trary, to nerve himself to a task which is never 
ending, still beginning, and always unpleasant." 

The well-known dramatist. Scribe, once wrote 
a libretto for Berlioz, but in consequence of some 
diflSculty with the director of the Paris Grand 
Opera he demanded the return of the work, and 
handed it over to Gounod, who subsequently wrote 
the music. Berlioz devotes some space to these 
proceedings in his Memoirs, and in the course of 
his remarks says: 

"When I saw Scribe, on my return to Paris, he 
seemed slightly confused at having accepted my 
offer, and taken back my poem. 'But, as you 
know,' said he, *I1 faut que le pretre vive de 
I'autel.' Poor fellow! he could not, in fact, have 
waited; he has only some 200,000 or 300,000 per 
annum, a house in town, three coimtry houses 
etc. Liszt made a capital pun when I repeated 
Scribe's speech to him. 'Yes,' said he, 'by his 
hotel' — comparing Scribe to an innkeeper." 

D'ORTIGUE 

D'Ortigue, who is better known as a theorist 
than a composer and musical critic, was a great 
admirer of Liszt, as may be seen by the follow- 
ing extract from his writings: 

" Beethoven is for Liszt a god, before whom he 
bows his head. He considered him as a deliverer 
whose arrival in the musical realm has been il- 
217 



FRANZ LISZT 

lustrated through the liberty of poetical thought, 
and through the abolishing of old dominating hab- 
its. Oh, one must be present when he begins 
with one of those melodies, one of those posies 
which have long been called symphonies! One 
must see his eyes when he opens them as if re- 
ceiving an inspiration from above, and when he 
fixes them gloomily on the groimd. One must 
see him, hear him, and be silent. 

"We feel here only too well how weak is the 
expression of our imagination. He conquers ev- 
erything but his nerves ; his head, hands and 
whole body are in violent motion; in one word, 
you see a dreadfully nervous man agitatedly 
playing his piano!" 

BLAZE DE BURY 

Baron Blaze de Bury, in a musical feuilleton 
contributed to the Revue des Deux Mondes, no 
doubt more in fun than ill feeling, wrote as fol- 
lows on Liszt and his Hungarian sword: 

" We must have dancers, songstresses, and pi- 
anists. We have enthusiasm and gold for their 
tour de force. We abandon Petrarch in the 
streets to bring Essler to the Capitol; we suffer 
Beethoven and Weber to die of hunger, to give 
a sword of honor to Mr. Liszt." 

Liszt was furious when this met his eye, and 
wrote immediately a long letter to the editor of 
the Revue, of which the following is the essential 
passage: 

218 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"The sword which has been given to me at 
Pesth is a reward awarded by a nation under a 
national form. In Hungary — in this country of 
ancient and chivalrous manners — the sword has 
a patriotic significance. It is the sign of man- 
hood par excellence; it is the arm of all men who 
have the right to carry arms. While six out of 
the most remarkable men of my country pre- 
sented it to me, with the unanimous acclamations 
of my compatriots, it was to acknowledge me 
again as a Hungarian after an absence of fifteen 
years." 

OSCAR COMMETTANT 

Oscar Commettant, in one of his works, gives 
the following satirical sketch of Liszt in the 
height of his popularity in the Parisian concert 
ooms: 

" A certain great pianist, who is as clever a man- 
ager as he is an admirable executant, pays women 
at a rate of 25 frs. per concert to pretend to faint 
away with pleasure in the middle of a fantasia 
taken at such a rapid pace that it would have been 
humanly impossible to finish it. The pianist 
abruptly left his instrument to rush to the assis- 
tance of the poor fainting lady, while everybody 
in the room believed that, but for that accident, 
the prodigious pianist would have completed the 
greatest of miracles. It happened one night that 
a woman paid to faint forgot her cue and fell fast 
asleep. The pianist was performing Weber's 
Concertstiick. Reckoning on the fainting of this 
219 



FRANZ LISZT 

female to interrupt the finale of the piece, he took 
it in an impossible time. What could he do in 
such a perplexing cause ? Stumble and trip like 
a vulgar pianist, or pretend to be stopped by a de- 
fective memory? No; he simply played the part 
which the faintress (excuse the word) ought to 
have acted, and fainted away himself. People 
crowded around the pianist, who had become 
doubly phenomenal through his electric execu- 
tion, and his frail and susceptible organization. 
They carried him out into the greenroom. The 
men applauded as if they meant to bring down 
the ceiling; the women waved their handker- 
chiefs to manifest their enthusiasm, and the 
faintress, on waking, fainted, perhaps really, with 
despair of not having pretended to faint." 

LEON ESCUDIER 

The once celebrated musical publisher and 
director of the Parisian Italian Opera season 
gives the following description of Danton's statu- 
ette of Liszt, which was exhibited in the Paris 
salon half a century ago: 

"The pianist is seated before a piano, which he 
is about to destroy under him. His fingers mul- 
tiply at the ends of his hands; I should think so 
— Danton made him ten at each hand. His hair 
like a willow floats over his shoulders. One 
would say that he is whistling. Now for the ac- 
count. Liszt saw the statue, and made a gri- 
mace. He found that the sculptor had exag- 
220 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

gerated the length of his hair. It was a criticism 
really pulled by the hair. Danton knew it. 

"But after Liszt had gone he went again to work 
and made immediately a second statuette. In 
this, one only sees a head of hair (the pianist is 
seen from the back) always seated before the pi- 
ano. The head of hair, which makes one think 
of a man hidden behind, plays the piano abso- 
lutely like the first model. All the rest is the same. " 

Leon Escudier also relates an incident at one 
of Henri Herz's concerts: 

"A piece for four pianos was to be played. 
Herz knew how to choose his competitors. The 
three other pianists were Thalberg, Liszt, and 
Moscheles. The room was crowded, as may be 
imagined. The audience was calm at first; but 
not without slight manifestations of impatience 
quite natural under the circumstances. They 
did not consider the regrettable habit that Liszt 
had, at this epoch, to make people wait for him. 
Punctuality, however, is the politeness of kings, 
and Liszt was a king of the piano. Briefly, the 
pianists gave up waiting for Liszt; but this reso- 
lution was not taken without a little confusion 
in the artists' room. The musical parts were 
changed at the piano, and they were going to play 
a trio instead of a quatour, when Liszt appeared. 
It was time! They were about to commence 
without him. While the four virtuosi seated 
themselves they perceived that the musical parts 
were not the same which belonged to them. In 
the confusion which preceded their installation 

221 



FRANZ LISZT 

the parts got mixed, and No. i had before his 
eyes the part of No. 3; the No. 2 had No. i, and 
so on. What was to be done ? — rise and re- 
arrange the parts! The public was already dis- 
appointed by the prolonged waiting that they had 
experienced. They murmured. The four vir- 
tuosi looked at each other sternly, not daring to 
rise, when Herz took a heroic resolution, exclaim- 
ing: 'Courage! Allons toujours!' And he gave 
the signal in passing his fingers over the keyboard. 
The others played, and the four great pianists 
improvised each the part of the other. The pub- 
lic did not notice the change, and finished by ap- 
plauding loudly." 

MOSENTHAL 

Anton Rubinstein's librettist, in some remi- 
niscences of his collaborateur says: 

"It must have been in 1840 that I saw Rubin- 
stein for the first time, when scarcely ten years 
old; he had travelled in Paris with his teacher, 
and plucked his first laurels with his childish 
hands. It was then that Franz Liszt, hearing 
the boy play, and becoming acquainted with his 
first compositions, with noble enthusiasm pro- 
claimed him the sole inheritor of his fame. The 
prediction has been fulfilled; already in the ful- 
ness of his activity, Liszt recognised in Rubin- 
stein a rival on equal footing with himself, and 
since he has ceased to appear before the public 
he has greeted Rubinstein as the sole ruler in 
222 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

the realm of pianists. When Rubinstein was 
director of the Musical Society in Vienna, 1876, 
and the dlite of the friends of art gathered every 
week in his hospitable house, I once had the 
rare pleasure of hearing him and Liszt play, not 
only successively during the same evening, but 
also together on the piano. The question, which 
of the two surpassed the other, recalled the old 
problem whether Goethe or Schiller is the great- 
est German poet. But when they both sat down 
to play a new concerto by Rubinstein, which 
Liszt, with incredible intuition, read at sight, it 
was really as good as a play to watch the gray- 
haired master, as, smiling good-naturedly, he 
followed his young artist, and allowed himself, 
as if on purpose, to be surpassed in fervor and 
enthusiastic powers." 

MOSCHELES 

There are several allusions to Liszt in Mos- 
cheles' Diary. Liszt visited London in 1840, 
and Moscheles records: 

"At one of the Philharmonic Concerts he 
played three of my studies quite admirably. 
Faultless in the way of execution, by his talent 
he has completely metamorphosed these pieces; 
they have become more his studies than mine. 
With all that they please me, and I shouldn't like 
to hear them played in any other way by him. 
The Paganini studies too were uncommonly in- 
teresting to me. He does anything he chooses, 
223 



FRANZ LISZT 

and does it admirably; and those hands raised 
aloft in the air come down but seldom, wonder- 
fully seldom, upon a wrong note. 'His conver- 
sation is always brilliant,' adds Mrs. Moscheles. 
'It is occasionally dashed with satire or spiced 
with humour. The other day he brought me 
his portrait, with his hommages respectueux writ- 
ten underneath; and what was the best "hom- 
mage" of all he sat down to the piano, and played 
me the Erl King, the Ave Maria and a charming 
Hungarian piece.'" 

Liszt was again in London in 1841, and Mos- 
cheles records that at the Philharmonic Society's 
concert, on July 14: 

"The attention of the audience was entirely 
centred upon Liszt. When he came forward to 
play in Hummel's septet one was prepared to be 
staggered, but only heard the well-known piece 
which he plays with the most perfect execution, 
storming occasionally like a Titan, but still in 
the main free from extravagance; for the distin- 
guishing mark of Liszt's mind and genius is that 
he knows perfectly the capability of the audience 
and the style of music he brings before them, and 
uses his powers, which are equal to everything, 
merely as a means of eliciting the most varied 
kinds of effects." 

Mrs. Moscheles, in some supplementary notes 
to her husband's Diary, says: 

"Liszt and Moscheles were heard several times 
together in the Preciosa variations, on which 
Moscheles remarks: 'It seemed to me that we 
224 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

were sitting together on Pegasus.' When Mos- 
cheles showed him his F-sharp and D-minor 
studies, which he had written for Michetti's 
Beethoven Album, Liszt, in spite of their intrica- 
cies and difficulties, played them admirably at 
sight. He was a constant visitor at Moscheles' 
house, often dropping in unexpectedly; and many 
an evening was spent under the double fascina- 
tion of his splendid playing and brilliant conver- 
sation. The other day he told us : * I have played 
a duet with Cramer; I was the poisoned mush- 
room, and I had at my side my antidote of milk.' " 

Moscheles attended the Beethoven Festival at 
Bonn, in 1845, and on August 10 recorded in his 
Diary: 

"I am at the H6tel de I'Etoile d'Or, where are 
to be found all the crowned heads of music — 
brown, gray or bald. This is a rendezvous for 
all ladies, old and young, fanatics for music, all 
art judges, German and French reviewers and 
English reporters; lastly, the abode of Liszt, the 
absolute monarch, by virtue of his princely gifts, 
outshining all else. ... I have already seen and 
spoken to colleagues from all the four quarters 
of the globe; I was also with Liszt, who had his 
hands full of business, and was surrounded with 
secretaries and masters of ceremonies, while Chor- 
ley sat quietly ensconced in the comer of a sofa. 
Liszt too kissed me; then a few hurried and con- 
fused words passed between us, and I did not see 
him again until I met him afterwards in the con- 
cert room." 

22$ 



FRANZ LISZT 

On August 12, Moscheles records: 

" I was deeply moved when I saw the statue of 
Beethoven unveiled, the more so because Hah- 
nel has obtained an admirable likeness of the im- 
mortal composer. Another tumult and uproar 
at the table d'hote in the 'Stern' Hotel. I sat 
near Bachez, Fischof and Vesque, Liszt in all 
his glory, a suite of ladies and gentlemen in at- 
tendance on him, Lola Montez among the for- 
mer." 

At the banquet after the unveiling of Beetho- 
ven's statue at Bonn, Moscheles records: 

"Immediately after the king's health had been 
proposed, Wolff, the improvisatore, gave a toast 
which he called the 'Trefoil.' It was to repre- 
sent the perfect chord — Spohr the key-note, 
Liszt the connecting link between all parties, the 
third, Professor Breidenstein, the dominant 
leading all things to a happy solution. (Uni- 
versal applause.) Spohr proposes the health of 
the Queen of England, Dr. Wolff that of Pro- 
fessor Hahnel, the sculptor of the monument, and 
also that of the brass founder. Liszt proposes 
Prince Albert; a professor with a stentorian voice 
is laughed and coughed down — people will not 
listen to him; and then ensued a series of most 
disgraceful scenes which originated thus: Liszt 
spoke rather abstrusely upon the subject of the 
festival. ' Here all nations are met to pay honour 
to the master. May they live and prosper — 
the Dutch, the English, the Viennese — who have 
made a pilgrimage hither!' Upon this Chelard 
226 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

gets up in a passion, and screams out to Liszt, 
* Vous avez oubli6 les Franf ais. ' 

"Many voices break in, a regular tumult en- 
sues, some for, some against the speaker. At 
last Liszt makes himself heard, but in trying to 
exculpate himself seems to get entangled deeper 
and deeper in a labyrinth of words, seeking to 
convince his hearers that he had lived fifteen 
years among Frenchmen, and would certainly 
not intentionally speak slightingly of them. The 
contending parties, however, become more up- 
roarious, many leave their seats, the din becomes 
deafening and the ladies pale with fright. The fete 
is interrupted for a full hour. Dr. Wolff, mount- 
ing a table, tries to speak, but is hooted down 
three or four times, and at last quits the room, 
glad to escape the babel of tongues. Knots of 
people are seen disputing in every part of the great 
salon, and, the confusion increasing, the cause 
of dispute is lost sight of. The French and Eng- 
lish journalists mingle in this fray, by complain- 
ing of omissions of all sorts on the part of the 
festival committee. When the tumult threatens 
to become serious the landlord hits upon the 
bright idea of making the band play its loudest, 
and this drowns the noise of the brawlers, who 
adjourned to the open air. 

"The waiters once more resumed their ser- 
vices, although many of the guests, especially 
ladies, had vanished. The contending groups out- 
side showed their bad taste and ridiculous selfish- 
ness, for Vivier and some Frenchmen got Liszt 
227 



FRANZ LISZT 

among them, and reproached him in a most 
shameful way. G. ran from party to party, add- 
ing fuel to the fire; Chorley was attacked by a 
French journalist; M. J. J. (Jules Janin) would 
have it that the English gentleman, Wentworth 
Dilke, was a German who had slighted him; I 
stepped in between the two, so as at least to put 
an end to this unfair controversy. I tried as well 
as I could to soothe these overwrought minds, 
and pronounced funeral orations over those who 
had perished in this tempest of words. I alone 
remained shot proof and neutral, so also did my 
Viennese friends. By 6 o'clock in the evening 
I became almost deaf from the noise, and was 
glad to escape." 

DWIGHT 

John S. Dwight, the Boston musical critic, in an 
article on Dr. von Biilow, written while travelling 
in Germany with a friend, relates the following 
interview with Liszt: 

"It was in Berlin, in the winter of 1861, that 
we had the privilege of meeting and hearing 
Billow. We were enjoying our first and only 
interview with Liszt, who had come for a day or 
two to the old Hotel de Brandebourg, where we 
were living that winter. On the sofa sat his 
daughter, Mrs. von Bulow, bearing his unmis- 
takable impress upon her features; the welcome 
was cordial, and the conversation on the part of 
both of them was lively and most interesting; 
228 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

chiefly of course it was about music, artists, etc., 
and nothing delighted us more than the hearty- 
appreciation which Liszt expressed of Robert 
Franz, then, strange as it may seem, but very lit- 
tle recognised in Germany. Of some other com- 
posers he seemed inclined to speak ironically 
and even bitterly, as if smarting under some dis- 
appointment — perhaps at the unreceptive mood 
of the Berliners toward his own symphonic 
poems, to whose glories Biilow had been labour- 
ing to convert them. 

"Before we had a chance to hint of one hope 
long deferred, that of hearing Liszt play, he 
asked, 'Have you heard Biilow?' alluding to 
him more than once as the pianist to be heard — 
his representative and heir, on whom his mantle 
had verily fallen. Thinking it possible that there 
was some new grand composition by some one of 
his young disciples to be brought out, and that 
he had come to Berlin to stand godfather, as it 
were, to that, we modestly ventured to inquire. 
He smilingly replied, 'No; I am here literally as 
godfather, having come to the christening of my 
grandchild.' Presently the conversation was in- 
terrupted by a rap at the door, and in came with 
lively step a little man, who threw open the furs 
in which he was buried, Berlin fashion, and ap- 
proached the presence, bowed his head to the 
paternal laying on of hands, and we were in- 
troduced to Von Biilow." 



229 



FRANZ LISZT 



HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN 

The author of the charming fairy tales, which 
are still admired by young as well as old people, 
in his usual graceful style, gives a description of 
a Liszt concert in 1840: 

"In Hamburg, at the City of London Hotel, 
Liszt gave a concert. In a few minutes the hall 
was crowded. I came too late, but I got the best 
place — close upon the orchestra, where the 
piano stood — for I was brought up by a back 
staircase. Liszt is one of the kings in the realm 
of music. My guide brought me to him, as I 
have said, up a back stair, and I am not ashamed 
to acknowledge this. The hall — even the side 
rooms — beamed with lights, gold chains and 
diamonds. Near me, on a sofa, reclined a young 
Jewess, stout and overdressed. She looked like 
a walrus with a fan. Grave Hamburg merchants 
stood crowded together, as if they had important 
business ' on 'Change ' to transact. A smile rested 
on their lips, as though they had just sold 'paper' 
and won enormously. The Orpheus of mythol- 
ogy could move stones and trees by his playing. 
The new Liszt-Orpheus had actually electrified 
them before he played. Celebrity, with its 
mighty prestige, had opened the eyes and ears 
of the people. It seemed as if they recognised 
and felt already what was to follow. I myself felt 
in the beaming of those many flashing eyes, and 
that expectant throbbing of the heart, the ap- 
230 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

proach of the great genius who with bold hands 
had fixed the limits of his art in our time. Lon- 
don, that great capital of machinery, or Hamburg, 
the trade emporium of Europe, is where one 
should hear Liszt for the first time; there time 
and place harmonise; and in Hamburg I was to 
hear him. An electric shock seemed to thrill 
the hall as Liszt entered. Most of the ladies rose. 
A sunbeam flashed across each face, as though 
every eye were seeing a dear, beloved friend. I 
stood quite close to the artist. He is a slight 
young man. Long, dark hair surrounded the 
pale face. He bowed and seated himself at the 
instrument. Liszt's whole appearance and his 
mobility immediately indicate one of those per- 
sonalities toward which one is attracted solely 
by their individuality. As he sat at the piano 
the first impression of his individuality and the 
trace of strong passions upon his pale counten- 
ance made me imagine that he might be a demon 
banished into the instrument from which the 
tones streamed forth. They came from his blood ; 
from his thoughts; he was a demon who had to 
free his soul by playing; he was under the torture; 
his blood flowed, and his nerves quivered. But 
as he played the demonia disappeared. I saw the 
pale countenance assume a nobler, more beauti- 
ful expression. The divine soul flashed from 
his eyes, from every feature; he grew handsome 
— handsome as life and inspiration can make one. 
His Valse Infemale is more than a daguerreo- 
type from Meyerbeer's Robert. We do not stand 
231 



FRANZ LISZT 

before and gaze upon the well-known picture. 
No, we transport ourselves into the midst of it. 
We gaze deep into the very abyss, and discover 
new, whirling forms. It did not seem to be the 
strings of a piano that were sounding. No, every 
tone was like an echoing drop of water. Any one 
who admires the technic of art must bow before 
Liszt; he that is charmed with the genial, the 
divine gift, bows still lower. The Orpheus of 
our day has made tones sound through the great 
capital of machinery and a Copenhagener has 
said that 'his fingers are simply railroads and 
steam engines.' His genius is more powerful to 
bring together the great minds of the world than 
all the railroads on earth. The Orpheus of our 
day has preached music in the trade emporium 
of Europe, and (at least for a moment) the people 
believed the gospel. The spirit's gold has a truer 
ring than that of the world. People often use the 
expression 'a sea of sound' without being con- 
scious of its significance, and such it is that 
streams from the piano at which Liszt sits. The 
instrument appears to be changed into a whole 
orchestra. This is accomplished by ten fingers, 
which possess a power of execution that might 
be termed superhuman. They are guided by a 
mighty genius. It is a sea of sound, which in its 
very agitation is a mirror for the life task of each 
burning heart. I have met politicians who, at 
Liszt's playing, conceived that peaceful citizens 
at the sound of the Marseillaise might be so car- 
ried away that they might seize their guns and 
232 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

rush forth from hearths and homes to fight for 
an idea! I have seen quiet Copenhageners, 
with Danish autumnal coolness in their veins, 
become political bacchantes at his playing. The 
mathematician has grown giddy at the echoing 
fingers and the reckoning of the sounds. Young 
disciples of Hegel (and among those the really 
gifted and not merely the light-headed, who at the 
mere galvanic stream of philosophy make a men- 
tal grimace) perceived in this sea of music the 
wave-like advances of knowledge toward the 
shore of perfection. The poet found the rein of 
his heart's whole lyric, or the rich garment of 
his boldest delineation. The traveller (yes, I 
conclude with myself) receives musical pictures 
of what he sees or will see. I heard his playing 
as it were an overture to my journey. I heard 
how my heart throbbed and bled on my leaving 
home. I heard the farewell of the waves — the 
waves that I should only hear again on the cliffs 
of Terracina. Organ tones seemed to sound 
from Germany's old cathedrals. The glaciers 
rolled from the Alpine hills, and Italy danced in 
carnival dresses, and struck with her wooden 
sword while she thought in her heart of Caesar, 
Horace and Raphael. Vesuvius and ^tna 
burned. The trumpet of judgment resounded 
from the hills of Greece, where the old gods are 
dead. Tones that I knew not — tones for which 
I have no words — pointed to the East, the home 
of fancy, the poet's second fatherland. When 
Liszt had done playing the flowers rained down 

^33 



FRANZ LISZT 

on him. Young, pretty girls, old ladies, who 
had once been pretty girls, too, threw their bou- 
quets. He had indeed thrown a thousand bou- 
quets into their hearts and brain. 

"From Hamburg Liszt was to fly to London, 
there to strew new tone-bouquets, there to breathe 
poetry over material working day life. Happy 
man! who can thus travel throughout his whole 
life, always to see people in their spiritual Sun- 
day dress — yea, even in the wedding garment of 
inspiration. Shall I often meet him ? That was 
my last thought, and chance willed it that we 
meet on a journey at a spot where I and my read- 
ers would least expect it — met, became friends, 
and again separated. But that belongs to the 
last chapter of this journey. He now went to 
the city of Victoria — I to that of Gregory the 
Sixteenth." 

HEINE 

There are several reminiscences of Liszt to be 
found in the collected works of the great German 
author. Heine, writing in 1844 at Paris, says: 

"When I sometime ago heard of the marvel- 
lous excitement which broke out in Germany, and 
more particularly in Berlin, when Liszt showed 
himself there, I shrugged my shoulders and 
thought quiet. Sabbath-like Germany does not 
want to lose the opportunity of indulging in a 
little 'permitted' commotion; it longs to stretch 
its sleep-stiflfened limbs, and my Philistines on 
the banks of the Spree are fond of tickling them- 

234 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

selves into enthusiasm, while one declaims after 
the other, * Love, ruler of gods and men ! ' It does 
not matter to them, thought I, what the row is 
about, so long as it is a row, whether it is called 
George Herwegh (the "Iron Lark"), Fanny Es- 
sler or Franz Liszt. If Herwegh be forbidden we 
turn to the politically 'safe' and uncompromis- 
ing Liszt. So thought I, so I explained to my- 
self the Liszt mania; and I accepted it as a sign 
of the want of political freedom on the other side 
of the Rhine. But I was in error, which I rec- 
ognised for the first time at the Italian Opera 
House where Liszt gave his first concert, and be- 
fore an assembly which is best described as the 
^lite of society here. They were, anyhow, wide- 
awake Parisians : people familiar with the great- 
est celebrities of modern times, totally blase and 
preoccupied men, who had 'done to death' all 
things in the world, art included; women equally 
'done up' by having danced- the polka the whole 
winter through. Truly it was no German sen- 
timental, Berlin-emotional audience before which 
Liszt played — quite alone, or rather accompan- 
ied only by his genius. And yet, what an elec- 
trically powerful effect his mere appearance pro- 
duced! What a storm of applause greeted him! 
How many bouquets were flung at his feet! It 
was an impressive sight to see with what im- 
perturbable self-possession the great conqueror 
allowed the flowers to rain upon him and then, 
at last, graciously smiling, selected a red camellia 
and stuck it in his buttonhole. And this he did 

235 



FRANZ LISZT 

in the presence of several young soldiers just ar- 
rived from Africa, where it did not rain flowers but 
leaden bullets, and they were decorated with the 
red camellias of their own heroes' blood, without 
receiving any particular notice either here for 
it. Strange, thought I, these Parisians have seen 
Napoleon, who was obliged to supply them with 
one battle after another to retain their attention 
— these receive our Franz Liszt with acclama- 
tion ! And what acclamation ! — a positive frenzy, 
never before known in the annals of furore." 

Heine relates the following curious conversa- 
tion he had with a medical man about Liszt: 

" A physician whose specialty is woman, whom 
I questioned as to the fascination which Liszt ex- 
ercises on his public, smiled very strangely, and 
at the same time spoke of magnetism, galvanism, 
and electricity, of contagion in a sultry hall, filled 
with innumerable wax-lights, and some hundred 
perfumed and perspiring people, of histrionic 
epilepsy, of the phenomenon of tickling, of musical 
cantharides, and other unmentionable matters, 
which, I think, have to do with the mysteries of 
the bona dea; the solution of the question, how- 
ever, does not lie perhaps so strangely deep, but 
on a very prosaic surface. I am sometimes in- 
clined to think that the whole witchery might 
be explained thus — namely, that nobody in this 
world knows so well how to organise his suc- 
cesses, or rather their mise en scene, as Franz 
Liszt. In this art he is a genuis, a Philadelphia, 
a Bosco, a Houdin — yea, a Meyerbeer. The most 

236 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

distinguished persons serve him gratis as com- 
peres, and his hired enthusiasts are drilled in an 
exemplary way." 

This amusing anecdote about Liszt and the 
once famous tenor, Rubini, is also told by Heine: 

"The celebrated singer had undertaken a tour 
with Franz Liszt, sharing expenses and profits. 
The great pianist took Signor Belloni about with 
him everywhere (the entrepreneur in general of 
his reputation), and to him was left the whole of 
the business management. When, however, all 
accounts had been settled up, and Signor Belloni 
presented his little bill, what was Rubini's horror 
to find that among the mutual expenses there 
appeared sundry considerable items for 'laurel 
wreaths,' 'bouquets,' 'laudatory poems,' and 
suchlike 'ovation expenses.' 

" The naive singer had, in his innocence, imag- 
ined that he had been granted these tokens of pub- 
lic favour solely on account of his lovely voice. He 
flew into a great rage, and swore he would not 
pay for the bouquets which probably contained 
the most expensive camellias." 

That Heine could appreciate Liszt seriously, 
these extracts testify sufficiently: 

"He (Liszt) is indisputably the artist in Paris 
who finds the most unlimited enthusiasm as well 
as the most zealous opponents. It is a character- 
istic sign that no one speaks of him with indif- 
ference. Without power no one in this world 
can excite either favourable or hostile passions. 
One must possess fire to excite men to hatred as 

237 



FRANZ LISZT 

well as to love. That which testifies especially 
for Liszt is the complete esteem with which even 
his enemies speak of his personal worth. He is a 
man of whimsical but noble character, unselfish 
and without deceit. Especially remarkable are 
his spiritual proclivities; he has great taste for 
speculative ideas, and he takes even more in- 
terest in the essays of the various schools which 
occupy themselves with the solution of the prob- 
lems of heaven and earth than in his art itself. 
It is, however, praiseworthy, this indefatigable 
yearning after light and divinity; it is a proof of 
his taste for the holy, for the religious. . . . 

" Yes, Franz Liszt, the pianist of genius, whose 
playing often appears to me as the melodious 
agony of a spectral world, is again here, and giv- 
ing concerts which exercise a charm which bor- 
ders on the fabulous. By his side all piano play- 
ers, with the exception of Chopin, the Raphael of 
the piano, are as nothing. In fact, with the ex- 
ception of this last named artist alone, all the 
other piano players whom we hear in countless 
concerts are only piano players; their only merit 
is the dexterity with which they handle the ma- 
chine of wood and wire. With Liszt, on the con- 
trary, the people think no more about the 'diffi- 
culty overcome ' ; the piano disappears, the music 
is revealed. In this respect has Liszt, since I 
last heard him, made the most astonishing prog- 
ress. With this advantage he combines now a 
reposed manner, which I failed to perceive in him 
formerly. If, for example, he played a storm 

238 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

on the piano we saw the lightning flicker about 
his features; his limbs fluttered as with the blast 
of a storm, and his long locks of hair dripped as 
with real showers of rain. Now when he plays 
the most violent storm he seems exalted above it, 
like the traveller who stands on the summit of an 
Alp while the tempest rages in the valley; the 
clouds he deep below him, the lightning curls like 
snakes at his feet, but his head is uplifted smil- 
ingly into the pure ether." 

The following remarks on Liszt, to be found 
in Heine's letters to his friends, are also inter- 
esting: 

"That such a restless head, driven and per- 
plexed by all the needs and doctrines of his time, 
feeling compelled to trouble himself about all the 
necessities of humanity, and eagerly sticking his 
nose into all the pots in which the good God brews 
the future — that Franz Liszt can be no quiet 
piano player for tranquil townfolks and good- 
natured night-caps is self-evident. When he sits 
down at the piano, and has stroked his hair back 
over his forehead several times, and begins to 
improvise, he often storms away right madly over 
the ivory keys, and there rings out a wilderness 
of heaven-height thought, amid which here and 
there the sweetest flowers diffuse their fragrance, 
so that one is at once troubled and beatified, but 
troubled most." 

To another he writes: 

"I confess to you, much as I love Liszt, his 
music does not operate agreeably upon my mind; 

239 



FRANZ LISZT 

the more so that I am a Sunday child, and also 
see the spectres which others only hear; since, 
as you know, at every tone which the hand strikes 
upon the keyboard the corresponding tone figure 
rises in my mind; in short, since music becomes 
visible to my inward eye. My brain still reels at 
the recollection of the concert in which I last heard 
Liszt play. It was in a concert for the unfor- 
tunate Italians, in the hotel of that beautiful, no- 
ble, and suffering princess, who so beautifully re- 
presents her material and her spiritual fatherland, 
to wit, Italy and Heaven. (You surely have seen 
her in Paris, that ideal form, which yet is but the 
prison in which the holiest angel-soul has been 
imprisoned; but this prison is so beautiful that 
every one lingers before it as if enchanted, and 
gazes at it with astonishment.) It was at a con- 
cert for the benefit of the unhappy Italians where 
I last heard Liszt, during the past winter, play, 
I know not what, but I could swear he varied 
upon themes from the Apocalypse. At first I 
could not quite distinctly see them, the four mys- 
tical beasts; I only heard their voices, especially 
the roaring of the lion and the screaming of the 
eagle. The ox with the book in his hand I saw 
clearly enough. Best of all, he played the Valley 
of Jehoshaphat. There were lists as at a tourna- 
ment, and for spectators the risen people, pale 
as the grave and trembling, crowded round the 
immense space. First galloped Satan into the 
lists, in black harness, on a milk-white steed. 
Slowly rode behind him Death on his pale horse. 
240 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

At last Christ appeared, in golden armour, on a 
black horse, and with His holy lance He first 
thrust Satan to the ground, and then Death, and 
the spectators shouted. Tumultuous applause 
followed the playing of the valiant Liszt, who left 
his seat exhausted and bowed before the ladies. 
About the lips of the fairest played that melan- 
choly smile." 

Heine also relates: 

" On one occasion two Hungarian countesses, 
to get his snuff-box, threw each other down upon 
the ground and fought till they were exhausted!" 

CAROLINE BAUER 

The lady whose revelations in her M^moires 
about various royal and princely personages 
furnished the contributors of "Society" papers 
with a large amount of "copy" at the time of its 
publication, writes as follows concerning Liszt's 
intimacy with Prince Lichnowsky in 1844: 

"I had heard a great deal in Ratibor of mad 
Prince Felix Lichnowsky, who lived at his neigh- 
bouring country seat, and who furnished an 
abundant daily supply for the scandal-mongers 
of the town. Six years before that time the prince 
had quitted the Prussian service, owing to his 
debts and other irregularities, and had gone to 
Spain to evade his unhappy creditors, and to offer 
his ward to the Pretender, Don Carlos. Three 
years afterward he had returned from Spain with 
the rank of Carlist brigadier-general, and now he 
241 



FRANZ LISZT 

lived in his hermitage, near Ratibor, by no means 
a pious hermit. And then, one evening, shortly 
before the commencement of the 'LetzterWa£f en- 
gang,' when I was already dressed in my costume, 
the prince stood before me behind the scanty 
wings of the Ratibor stage, to renew his acquaint- 
ance with me. He had aged, his checkered life 
not having passed over him without leaving traces ; 
but he was still the same elegant, arrogant liber- 
tine he was at Prague, of whom a journalist 
wrote: 'Prince Felix Lichnowsky, like Prince 
Piickler, belongs to those dandies, roues, lions 
who attract the attention of the multitude at any 
cost by their contempt of men, their triviality, 
impudence, liaisons, horses, and duels; a kind of 
modem Alcibiades, every dog cutting the tail of 
another dog.' Within the first five minutes I 
learned from the prince's lips: 'My friend Liszt 
has lately been living with me at my hermitage 
for several weeks, and we have led a very agree- 
able life together.' Yes, indeed, in Ratibor, the 
people related the wildest stories of this pasha 
life! The following forenoon the prince in- 
vited us to a dejetiner k la fourchette at his 'her- 
mitage,' as he liked to call it. We inspected the 
park, which contained many fine trees; I tried 
the glorious ' grand' which Liszt had consecrated. 
But I was not to rise from the table without hav- 
ing had a new skirmish with my prince from 
Prague — preux chevalier. The conversation 
turned about Director Nachtigall, and suddenly 
Lichnowsky said roughly: 
242 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"'Just fancy, this Nachtigall had the impu- 
dence to call here and invite my friend Liszt to 
play upon his miserable Ratibor stage. A Liszt, 
and my guest, to play in Ratibor, and with a 
Nachtigall — unheard of! You may imagine that 
I gave this Nachtigall a becoming answer.' 

"The bit stuck in my mouth, and, trembling 
with indignation, I said sharply: 

" 'My prince, am I not your guest, too? And 
do not I play in Ratibor, and with a Nachtigall ? 
If your friend Liszt had done nothing worse here 
than play the piano in Ratibor he would not have 
degraded himself in any way.' 

" 'Ah! the town gossip of Ratibor has your 
ear, too, I see!' Lichnowsky said, with a scorn- 
ful smile. 'But of course we are not going to 
quarrel.' " 

Caroline Bauer also relates in her M^moires 
the following anecdote about Liszt and the 
haughty Princess Metternich: 

"Liszt had been introduced to the princess and 
paid her a visit in Vienna. He was received and 
ushered into the drawing-room, in which the 
princess was holding a lively conversation with 
another lady. A condescending nod of the head 
was responded to the bow of the world-renowned 
artist; a gracious movement of the head invited 
him to be seated. In vain the proud and spoiled 
man waited to be introduced to the visitor, and 
to have an opportunity of joining in the conver- 
sation. The princess quietly continued to con- 
verse with the lady as if Franz Liszt were not in 

243 



FRANZ LISZT 

existence at all, at least not in her salon. At last 
she asked him in a cool and off-hand manner: 

" 'Did you do a good stroke of business at the 
concert you gave in Italy ? ' 

" 'Princess,' he replied coldly, 'I am a musi- 
cian, and not a man of business.' 

"The artist bowed stiffly and instantly left. 

"Soon after this Prince Mettemich proved 
himself to be as perfect a gentleman as he was a 
diplomatist. At Liszt's first concert in Vienna 
he went to him and, entering the artist's room, 
cordially pressed his hands before everybody, 
and, with a gracious smile, said softly: 

" 'I trust you will pardon my wife for a slip 
of the tongue the other day; you know what 
women are!' " 

FANNY KEMBLE 

Mrs. Kemble, in her chatty book, Records of 
Later Life, relates a pleasant incident in Sep- 
tember, 1842: 

"Our temporary fellowship with Liszt pro- 
cured for us a delightful participation in a trib- 
ute of admiration from the citizen workmen of 
Coblentz-, that was what the French call saisissant. 
We were sitting all in our hotel drawing-room 
together, the maestro, as usual, smoking his long 
pipe, when a sudden burst of music made us 
throw open the window and go out on the bal- 
cony, when Liszt was greeted by a magnificent 
chorus of nearly two hundred men's voices. They 
244 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

sang to perfection, each with his small sheet of 
music and his sheltered light in his hand; and 
the performance, which was the only one of the 
sort I ever heard, gave a wonderful impression 
of the musical capacity of the only really musi- 
cal nation in the world." 

Mrs. Kemble also gives her impression of 
Liszt at Munich in 1870: 

"I had gone to the theatre at Munich, where 
I was staying, to hear Wagner's opera of the 
Rheingold, with my daughter and her husband. 
We had already taken our places, when S. ex- 
claimed to me, 'There is Liszt.' The increased 
age, the clerical dress had effected but little 
change in the striking general appearance, which 
my daughter (who had never seen him since 1842, 
when she was quite a child) recognised immedi- 
ately. I went round to his box, and, recalling 
myself to his memory, begged him to come to 
ours, and let me present my daughter to him. 
He very good-naturedly did so, and the next day 
called upon us at our hotel and sat with us a long 
time. His conversation on matters of art (Wag- 
ner's music which he and we had listened to the 
evening before) and literature was curiously cau- 
tious and guarded, and every expression of opin- 
ion given with extreme reserve, instead of the un- 
compromising fearlessness of his earlier years; 
and the Abbe was indeed quite another from the 
Liszt of our summer on the Rhine of 1842." 



245 



FRANZ LISZT 



LOLA MONTEZ 

The once notorious actress, who, after a series 
of adventures caused some uproar at Munich, 
met Liszt during his travels in Germany, and 
her biographer relates how they divided honours 
at Dresden in 1842. 

"Through the management of influential 
friends an opening was made for her at the Royal 
Theatre at Dresden, where she met the cele- 
brated pianist, Franz Liszt, who was then cre- 
ating such a furore that when he dropped his 
pocket handkerchief it was seized by the ladies 
and torn into rags, which they divided among 
themselves — each being but too happy to get so 
much as a scrap which had belonged to the great 
artist. The furore created by Lola Montez' ap- 
pearance at the theatre in Dresden was quite as 
great among the gentlemen as was Liszt's among 
the ladies." 

Lola Montez, during the last few years of her 
life, devoted herself to lecturing in various Eu- 
ropean cities, and the following is extracted from 
apubhshed one entitled, "The Wits and Women 
of Paris": 

"There was a gifted and fashionable lady (the 
Countess of Agoult), herself an accomplished 
authoress, concerning whom and George Sand 
a curious tale is told. They were great friends, 
and the celebrated pianist Liszt was the admirer 
of both. Things went on smoothly for some 
246 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

time, all couleur de rose, when one fine day Liszt 
and George Sand disappeared suddenly from 
Paris, having taken it into their heads to make 
the tour of Switzerland for the summer together. 
Great was the indignation of the fair countess at 
this double desertion; and when they returned to 
Paris Madame d'Agoult went to George Sand 
and immediately challenged the great writer to 
a duel, the weapons to be finger-nails, etc. Poor 
Liszt ran out of the room and locked himself up 
in a dark closet till the deadly affray was ended, 
and then made his body over in charge to a friend, 
to be preserved, as he said, for the remaining as- 
sailant. Madame d'Agoult was married to a 
bookworm, who cared for naught else but his 
library; he did not know even the number of 
children he possessed, and so little the old 
philosopher cared about the matter that when a 
stranger came to the house he invariably, at the 
appearance of the family, said : * Allow me to pre- 
sent to you my wife's children'; all this with the 
blandest smile and most contented air." 
Lola Montez also says in her lecture: 
"I once asked George Sand which she thought 
the greatest pianist, Liszt or Thalberg. She re- 
plied, ' Liszt is the greatest, but there is only one 
Thalberg. If I were to attempt to give an idea 
of the difference between Liszt and Thalberg, I 
should say that Thalberg is like the clear, placid 
flow of a deep, grand river; while Liszt is the 
same tide foaming and bubbling and dashing on 
like a cataract.' " 

247 



FRANZ LISZT 



MRS. ELLET 



This lady, in an account of an autumn holiday 
on the Rhine, relates: 

"Liszt, with his wonted kindness, had offered 
to give a concert in Cologne, the proceeds of 
which were to be appropriated to the completion 
of the Cathedral; the Rhenish Liedertafel re- 
solved to bring him with due pomp from the 
island of Nonnenwerth, near Bonn, where he had 
been for some days. A steamboat was hired ex- 
pressly for this purpose, and conveyed a numer- 
ous company to Nonnenwerth at 1 1 in the morn- 
ing. The Liedertafel then greeted the artist, 
who stood on the shore, by singing a morning 
salute, accompanied by the firing of cannons and 
loud hurrahs. They then marched with wind- 
instruments in advance to the now empty chapel 
of the cloister of Nonnenwerth, where they sang, 
and thence to Rolandseck, where an elegant din- 
ner was prepared for the company. All eyes 
were fixed on Liszt; all hearts were turned to 
him. He proposed a toast in honour of his en- 
tertainers; and at the conclusion of his speech 
observed with justice that nowhere in the world 
could any club be found like the Liedertafel in 
Germany. When the banquet was over they 
returned to Nonnenwerth, where a crowd of peo- 
ple from the surrounding country was assembled. 
The universal wish to hear Liszt was so evident 
that he was induced to send for a piano to be 
248 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

brought into the chapel, and to gratify the as- 
sembly — listening and rapt with delight — by 
a display of his transcendent powers. The deso- 
late halls of the chapel once more resounded with 
the stir and voices of life. Not even the nuns, we 
will venture to say, who in former times used here 
to offer up prayers to heaven, were impressed 
with a deeper sense of the heavenly than was this 
somewhat worldly assembly by the magnificent 
music of Liszt, that seemed indeed to disclose 
things beyond this earth. At 7 o'clock the Lied- 
ertafel, with Liszt at their head, marched on their 
return, and went on board the steamboat, which 
was decorated with coloured flags, amid peals 
of cannon. It was 9, and quite dark, when they 
approached their landing. Rockets were sent 
up from the boat, and a continued stream of col- 
oured fireworks, so that as the city rose before 
them from the bosom of the Rhine the boat 
seemed enveloped in a circle of brilliant flame 
which threw its reflection far over the waters. 
Music and hurrahs greeted our artist on shore; 
all Cologne was assembled to give him the splen- 
did welcome which in other times only monarchs 
received. Slowly the procession of the Lieder- 
tafel moved through the multitude to the hotel, 
where again and again shouts and cheers testi- 
fied the joy of the people at the arrival of their 
distinguished guest." 



249 



FRANZ LISZT 



MINASI 

Minasi, the once popular painter, who sketched 
a portrait of Thalberg during his first sojourn in 
London, also wrote an account of an interesting 
conversation about Liszt: 

"The purpose of my requesting an introduc- 
tion to M. Thalberg was, first, to be acquainted 
with a man of his genius; and next, to request 
the favour of his sitting for his portrait, executed 
in a new style with pen and ink. His total free- 
dom from all ceremony and affectation perfectly 
charmed me. He appointed the next morning 
at 9 for his first sitting; and in my eagerness to 
commence my task, and make one of my best 
studies, I was in his breakfast room a quarter 
of an hour before my time. While he was tak- 
ing his breakfast I addressed him in my own 
language; and when he answered me with a most 
beautiful accent I was delighted beyond measure. 
I felt doubly at home with him. Since then I 
find that he is a perfect scholar, possessing, with 
his finished pronunciation, a great propriety of 
conception. 

"While I was putting on paper the outlines 
of his profile (a striking feature of his face), I 
inquired whether he was acquainted with my 
friend Liszt in Paris. He remarked that Liszt 
had disgraced himself with all impartial persons 
by writing against him with violent acrimony in 
the public prints; and which act he himself ac- 
250 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

knowledged was the result of professional jeal- 
ousy. I was the more grieved to hear this, be- 
cause I had entertained the highest respect for 
Liszt, who, as I told Thalberg, would never have 
demeaned himself had his father been living; 
whose last words to his son were: 'My son, you 
have always conducted yourself well; but I fear, 
after my death, some designing knave will lay 
hold of and make a dupe of you. Take care, my 
dear son, with whom you associate.' In one 
instance, Liszt met Thalberg, and proposed that 
they should play a duet in public, and that 
he (Liszt) should appoint the time. Thalberg's 
answer was: ' Je n'aime pas d'etre accompagne,' 
which greatly amused the Parisians. Upon an- 
other occasion, Liszt made free to tell Thalberg 
that he did not admire his compositions. Thal- 
berg replied : ' Since you do not like my composi- 
tions, Liszt, I do not like yours.' 

"To the honour of Liszt, however, it should be 
stated that, having called upon Thalberg, he ack- 
nowledged his errors, making him a solemn 
promise never to offend in the same manner, ad- 
ding that the cause of his attack upon him arose 
from jealousy of his rival's high talents, which 
made him the idol of the Parisians, and by 
whom he was received with the greatest enthu- 
siasm. Thalberg dismissed the subject with me, 
by doing justice to himself as a public per- 
former; at the same time declaring that Liszt is 
one of the greatest pianists in Europe, and he 
concluded with the following generous admis- 

251 



FRANZ LISZT 

sion: 'Nevertheless, after all that has passed 
between us, I think Liszt would do anything to 
oblige me.' " 

MACREADY 

The once popular novelist, the Countess of 
Blessington, on May 31, 1840, invited many dis- 
tinguished personages to her London house to 
meet Liszt, and among those who came were 
Lord Normanby, Lord Canterbury, Lord Hough- 
ton (then Mr. Monckton Milnes), Chorley, Ru- 
bini, Stuart Wortley, Palgrave Simpson, and Mac- 
ready, the famous tragedian. Liszt played sev- 
eral times during the evening, and created an 
impression on all those present, especially on 
Macready, who notes in his diary: 

"Liszt, the most marvellous pianist I ever 
heard; I do not know when I have been so ex- 
cited." 

AN ANONYMOUS GERMAN ADMIRER 

The following recollections of Liszt's first visit 
to Stuttgart were published in a periodical many 
years ago. Though they appeared without any 
signature, the author seems to have been on inti- 
mate terms with the great musician: 

"Liszt played several times at court, for which 
he received all possible distinctions which the 
King of Wurtemberg could confer upon an artist. 
The list of honours was exhausted when the royal 
princesses wished to hear once more this magician 
352 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

of the piano keys quite privately in their own 
apartments. Liszt, our truly chivalric artist, 
accepted with delight such an invitation, expect- 
ing less to show himself as an artist than to ex- 
press his thanks for the many honours received. 
It must have been rare enjoyment for a royal 
family which recognised in art only a graceful 
pastime and a delightful intoxication of the sense, 
with an agreeable excitement of the sentiments; 
for no artist in the world understands better than 
Liszt how to survey at a glance the character and 
the most hidden recesses in the hearts of his au- 
dience. This very fact is the cause of his wonder- 
ful effects, and will secure them to him always. 
He played on that occasion Weber's Invitation 
k la Valse, with his own effectual, free, final 
cadenza, his Chromatic Galop (which causes all 
nerves to vibrate) , and a few of his transcriptions 
of Schubert's songs — those genuine pearls, the 
richness and colouring of which none can show 
so well as himself, being a unique and most per- 
fect master of the art of touch. And, finally, in 
order to show something at least of his immense 
bravura, he played a little concert piece. The 
most gracious words of acknowledgment were 
showered upon him. Liszt, enraptured by the 
truly heavenly eyes of one of the princesses, 
which, rendered still more beautiful by a singu- 
lar moisture, were fixed upon him, declared 
his happiness in thus being able to express his 
thanks for the many honours conferred upon 
him. 

253 



FRANZ LISZT 

"Among all the princes of Europe, however, 
there is none so little inclined to accept of ser- 
vices without remuneration as the King of Wur- 
temberg. This is one of the many chivalric 
traits in the character of that monarch; no other 
rewards artists in such royal style. On the next 
morning I was with Liszt, each of us smoking a 
real Havana comfortably on one end of the sofa. 
Liszt was telling me of his last visit to court, when 
one of its servants entered. He placed a roll of 
150 ducats in gold upon the table, and present- 
ing Liszt with an open receipt, asked him to sign 
it. Liszt read: 'Received for playing,' etc. Aloud, 
and in a tone of astonishment, Liszt repeated the 
words, 'Received for my playing?' and, rising 
with that peculiar aristocratic grace, he says in 
a mild, condescending tone: 'For my playing — 
am I to sign this document? My friend, I im- 
agine some clerk of the court treasury has 
written this scrawl.' Upon which the servant, 
interrupting, said that it had been written by 
Herr Tagel, Counsellor of Court and Director 
of the Court Treasury. 'Well,' said Liszt, 'take 
back the receipt and money, and tell' (raising 
his voice) 'the counsellor from me, that neither 
king nor emperor can pay an artist for his play- 
ing — only, perchance, for his lost time, and ' 
(with haughty indignation) 'that the counsellor 
is a blockhead if he does not comprehend that. 
For your trouble, my friend,' (giving him 5 duc- 
ats) 'take this trifle.'" 

The writer goes on to say: 

254 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

" The servant, in utter astonishment, knew not 
what to answer, and looked at me. But Liszt's 
slight figure was erect, his finely cut lips were 
compressed, his head was boldly thrown back, 
so that his thick hair fell far down on his shoul- 
ders; his nostrils were expanding, the lightning 
of his keen and brilliant eye was gleaming, his 
arms were folded, and he showed all his usual 
indications of inward commotion. Knowing, 
therefore, that Liszt had by that document been 
touched in his most sensitive point, and that this 
was nothing more nor less than a small battle in 
his great contest for the social position and rights 
of artists — a contest which, when a boy of fif- 
teen years, he had already taken up — I was well 
aware of the impossibility of changing his mind 
for the present, and therefore remained silent, 
while the discomfited lackey retired with many 
low bows, taking money and scroll with him. 
Whether he really delivered the message I know 
not; but I was still with Liszt when he reappeared 
and, laying the money upon the table, gave Liszt 
a large sealed letter, which read as follows: 
'The undersigned ofl&cer of the Treasury of 
Court, commanded by His Majesty the King, 
begs Dr. Liszt to accept, as a small compensa- 
tion for his lost time with the princesses, the sum 
of 150 ducats.' Liszt handed me the paper, and 
with a silent glance I interrogated him in return. 
It is an old fact that the soul is always most 
clearly reflected in homely features, and I dis- 
tinctly read in his face reconciliation and the 

25s 



FRANZ LISZT 

kindest feeling again. He sat down and wrote 
on a scrap of paper with pencil: 'Received from 
the Royal Treasury 150 ducats — Franz Liszt,' 
and gave it to the servant very politely, accom- 
panied by another rich gift. There was never 
afterward any further allusion to the affair. 

"The price of admission to Liszt's concerts 
was unusually high, so that they could only be 
frequented by the wealthier classes. At a party 
the conversation fell upon the subject, and it was 
regretted that for such a reason many teachers 
and scholars, in spite of their great anxiety to 
hear the great master, were prevented from doing 
so. I told Liszt this, and he answered: 'Well, 
arrange a concert for them, only charge as much 
or as little as you think proper, and let me know 
when and what I shall play. Immediately a com- 
mittee was formed, and a concert for teachers 
and scholars only arranged, to which the price 
of admission amounted to only 18 kreutzers 
(about sixpence). Quantities of tickets were 
sold, and immense galleries had to be erected in 
the large hall. Liszt viewed with delight the 
juvenile multitude, whose enthusiasm knew no 
bounds, and I never heard him play more beauti- 
fully. With a delighted heart he stood amid a 
shower of flowers which thousands of little hands 
were strewing for him, and when at last six veri- 
table little angels approached in order to thank 
him, he embraced them with tears in his eyes — 
not heeding the fact that the grown-up people 
were appropriating his gloves, handkerchief, and 
256 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

all they could get hold of, tearing them up into 
a thousand bits to keep in remembrance of him. 
On the next morning we brought him the pro- 
ceeds of the concert (nearly i ,000 florins) . He de- 
clared that he had felt happier at that concert than 
ever before, and that nothing could induce him 
to accept the money, with which the committee 
might do as they pleased, and if, after so much 
delight, they did not wish really to hurt his feel- 
ings he would beg of them never to mention that 
money to him again. It was appropriated to a 
Liszt Fimd, which will continue to exist forever, 
and a poor teacher's son, on going to college, is 
destined to receive the first interest. 

"Liszt was once at my house, when a woman 
was announced to whom I was in the habit of 
giving quarterly a certain sum for her support. 
It being a few days before the usual time, she gave 
as an excuse (it was November) the hard times. 
While providing for her I told Liszt in an under- 
tone that she was an honest but very indigent 
widow of a painter, deceased in his prime, to 
whom a number of brother artists were giving 
regular contributions in order to enable her to 
get along with her two small children. I con- 
fess, while telling him this, I hoped that Liszt, 
whose liberality and willingness to do good had 
almost become proverbial, would ask me to add 
something in his name, and was, therefore, sur- 
prised to see him apparently indifferent, for he 
answered nothing and continued looking down in 
silence. After a few days, however, the widow 

257 



FRANZ LISZT 

reappeared, her heart overflowing with thankful- 
ness and her eyes filled with tears of joy, for she 
and her children had at the expense of a man 
whose name she was not permitted to know, re- 
ceived beautiful and new winter clothing, while 
kitchen and cellar had been stored with every 
necessary for the coming winter. Now all this 
had been arranged by the landlady of a certain 
hotel, at which Liszt was then stopping. A piano 
maker, who had not the means to erect a factory, 
needed but to convince Liszt of his rare ability, 
and immediately he had at his command over 
80,000 frs. This man is now dead, and Liszt 
never had received a farthing of that money 
back." 

GEORGE ELIOT 

The English novelist visited Liszt at Weimar 
in 1854 and records some pleasing recollections: 

"About the middle of September the theatre 
opened. We went to hear Emani. Liszt looked 
splendid as he conducted the opera. The grand 
outline of his face and floating hair was seen to 
advantage, as they were thrown into the dark 
relief by the stage lamps. Liszt's conversation is 
charming. I never met a person whose manner of 
telling a story was so piquant. The last even- 
ing but one that he called on us, wishing to ex- 
press his pleasure in G 's article about him, 

he very ingeniously conveyed that expression in 

a story about Spontini and Berlioz. Spontini 

visited Paris while Liszt was living there and 

258 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

haunted the opera — a stiff, self-important per- 
sonage, with high shirt collars — the least at- 
tractive individual imaginable. Liszt turned up 
his own collars and swelled out his person, so as to 
give us a vivid idea of the man. Every one would 
have been glad to get out of Spontini's way; in- 
deed, elsewhere 'on feignait de le croire mort'; 
but at Paris, as he was a member of the Institute, 
it was necessary to recognise his existence. 

" Liszt met him at Erard's more than once. 
On one of these occasions Liszt observed to him 
that Berlioz was a great admirer of his (Spon- 
tini), whereupon Spontini burst into a terrible 
invective against Berlioz as a man who, with 
the like of him, was ruining art, etc. Shortly 
after the Vestale was performed and forthwith 
appeared an enthusiastic article by Berlioz on 
Spontini's music. The next time Liszt met him 
of the high collars he said: 'You see I was not 
wrong in what I said about Berlioz's admiration 
of you.' Spontini swelled in his collars and re- 
plied, 'Monsieur, Berlioz a du talent comma 
critique.' Liszt's replies were always felicitous 
and characteristic. Talking of Madame d 'Agoult 
he told us that when her novel, Nelida, appeared 
in which Liszt himself is pilloried as a delinquent, 
he asked her, 'Mais pourquoi avez-vous telle- 
ment maltraite ce pauvre Lehmann?' The first 
time we were asked to breakfast at his house, the 
Altenburg, we were shown into the garden, where 
in a salon formed by the overarching trees de- 
jetiner was sent out. We found Hoffmann von 

259 



FRANZ LISZT 

Fallersleben, the lyric poet, Dr. Schade, a Ge- 
lehrter, and Cornelius. Presently came a Herr 
or Doctor Raff, a musician, who had recently 
published a volume called Wagnerfrage. Soon 
after we were joined by Liszt and the Princess 
Marie, an elegant, gentle-looking giri of seven- 
teen, and at last by the Princess Wittgenstein, 
with her nephew, Prince Eugene, and a young 
French artist, a pupil of Scheffer. 

" The princess was tastefully dressed in a morn- 
ing robe of some semi-transparent white material, 
lined with orange colour, which formed the bord- 
ering and ornament of the sleeves, a black lace 
jacket and a piquant cap on the summit of her 
comb, and trimmed with violet colour. When 
the cigars came, Hoffmann was requested to read 
some of his poetry, and he gave us a bacchanalian 
poem with great spirit. I sat next to Liszt, and 
my great delight was in watching him and in 
observing the sweetness of his expression. Ge- 
nius, benevolence, and tenderness beam from his 
whole countenance, and his manners are in per- 
fect harmony with it. Then came the thing I had 
longed for — his playing. I sat near him so that 
I could see both his hands and face. For the 
first time in my life I beheld real inspiration — 
for the first time I heard the true tones of the pi- 
ano. He played one of his own compositions, 
one of a series of religious fantasies. There was 
nothing strange or excessive about his manner. 
His manipulation of the instrument was quiet 
and easy, and his face was simply grand — the 
260 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

lips compressed and the head thrown a little back- 
ward. When the music expressed quiet rapture 
or devotion a smile flitted over his features; when 
it was triumphant the nostrils dilated. There 
was nothing petty or egotistic to mar the picture. 
Why did not Scheffer paint him thus, instead of 
representing him as one of the three Magi ? But 
it just occurs to me that Scheffer's idea was a 
sublime one. There are the two aged men who 
have spent their lives in trying to unravel the 
destinies of the world, and who are looking for 
the Deliverer — for the light from on high. Their 
young fellow seeker, having the fresh inspiration 
of early life, is the first to discern the herald star, 
and his ecstasy reveals it to his companions. In 
this young Magi Scheffer has given a portrait of 
Liszt; but even here, where he might be expected 
to idealise unrestrainedly, he falls short of the 
original. It is curious that Liszt's face is the 
type that one sees in all Scheffer's pictures — 
at least in all I have seen. 

"In a little room which terminates the suite 
at the Altenburg there is a portrait of Liszt, also 
by Scheffer — the same of which the engraving 
is familiar to every one. This little room is filled 
with memorials of Liszt's triumphs and the wor- 
ship his divine talent has won. It was arranged 
for him by the princess, in conjunction with the 
Arnims, in honour of his birthday. There is a 
medallion of him by Schwanthaler, a bust by an 
Italian artist, also a medallion by Rietschl — 
very fine — and cabinets full of jewels and pre- 
261 



FRANZ LISZT 

cious things — the gifts of the great. In the 
music salon stand Beethoven's and Mozart's 
pianos. Beethoven's was a present from Broad- 
wood, and has a Latin inscription intimating that 
it was presented as a tribute to his illustrious 
genius. One evening Liszt came to dine with 
us at the Erbprinz, and introduced M. Rubin- 
stein, a young Russian, who is about to have an 
opera of his performed at Weimar." 

AN ANONYMOUS LADY ADMIRER 

This lady relates a touching incident about 
Liszt and a young music mistress: 

"Liszt was still at Weimar, and no one could 
venture to encroach upon his scant leisure by a 
letter of introduction. I saw him constantly at 
the mid-day table d'hdte. His strange, impres- 
sive figure as he sat at the head of the table was 
a sight to remember; the brilliant eyes that flashed 
like diamonds, the long hair, in those days only 
iron gray, the sensitive mouth, the extraordi- 
nary play of expression, once seen, could never 
fade from memory. Everything, indeed, about 
him was phenomenal — physiognomy, appear- 
ance, mental gifts; last, but not least, amiability 
of character and an almost morbid terror of in- 
flicting pain. This characteristic, of course, led 
him into many embarrassments, at the same time 
into the committal of thousands of kind actions; 
often at the sacrifice of time, peace of mind, and, 
without doubt, intellectual achievements. 
262 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

" As I proposed to spend some months at Wei- 
mar, I engaged a music mistress, one of Liszt's 
former pupils, whom I will call Fraulein Marie. 
* I will myself introduce you to the Herr Doctor,' 
she said. 'To his pupils he refuses nothing.' 
I must add that Fraulein Marie was in better 
circumstances than most German teachers of 
music. She had, I believe, some small means of 
her own, and belonged to a very well-to-do fam- 
ily. The poor girl, who was, as I soon found out, 
desperately in love with her master, got up a 
charming little fete champetre in his honour and 
my own. A carri-age was ordered, picnic bas- 
kets packed, and one brilliant summer afternoon 
hostess and guests started for Tieffurt. The 
party consisted of Liszt, Fraulein Marie, a vio- 
linist of the other sex, a young lady pianist from 
a neighbouring town, and myself. Liszt's geni- 
ality and readiness to enter into the spirit of the 
occasion were delightful to witness. The places 
of honour were assigned to the English stranger 
and the violinist, Liszt insisting on seating a pupil 
on each side, on the opposite seat of the carriage, 
not in the least disconcerted by such narrow ac- 
commodation. Thus, chatting and laughing, all 
of us in holiday mood, we reached the pretty park 
and chateau of Tieffurt. 

" As the evening was cool, we supped inside the 
little restaurant, and here a grievous disappoint- 
ment awaited our hostess. Tieffurt is celebrated 
for its trout; indeed this delicacy is as much an 
attraction to many visitors as its literary and ar- 
263 



FRANZ LISZT 

tistic associations. But although trout had been 
ordered by letter beforehand none was forthcom- 
ing wherewith to fete the Maestro. Fraulein 
Marie was in tears. Liszt's gaiety and affection, 
however, put everything right. He cut brown 
bread and butter for the two girls, and made them 
little sandwiches with the excellent cold wurst. 
'Ah, das schmeckt so gut,' they cried, as they 
thanked him adoringly. He told stories; he 
made the rest do the same. 'Erzahlen von Er- 
furt' (tell us Erfurt news), he said to the young 
lady guest. The moments passed all too rapidly. 
Then in the clear delicious twilight we drove back 
to Weimar, his pupils kissing his hands rever- 
entially as he quitted us. So far all had been 
bright, joyous, transparent; but I soon discov- 
ered that this charming girl, who possessed the 
vivacity of a French woman, combined with the 
schwarmerei or sentimentality of a Teutonic 
maiden, was rendered deeply unhappy by her 
love for Liszt. 

"He was at that time enmeshed in the toils 
of another and far less guileless passion. Whilst 
to his gentle and innocent pupil he could accord 
only the affection of a loving and sympathetic 
friend and master, there were other women about 
him. Fraulein Marie's hapless sentiment could 
never discredit either herself or its object, but it 
occasioned a good deal of embarrassment and 
wretchedness, as we shall sea A few days after 
this gay al fresco tea she came to me in great 
distress, begging me forthwith to deliver a little 
264 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

note into the master's hand. I was reluctantly 
obliged to delegate the delicate mission to a hired 
messenger. Ill would it have become a stranger 
to interfere in these imbroglios. Moreover, at 
that very time Liszt had, as I have hinted, a love 
affair on his hands — had, in fact, momentarily 
succumbed to the influence of one of those women 
who were his evil genius. Just ten years later 
I revisited Weimar, and my first inquiry of com- 
mon friends was after my sweet young music 
mistress. 'Fraulein Marie! Alas!' replied my 
informant, 'the poor girl has long been in a 
maison de sant^.' Her love for Liszt ended in 
loss of reason." 

LADY BLANCHE MURPHY 

Lady Blanche gives an interesting account of 
Liszt's sojourn at the Monastery on Monte Mario 
in 1862, shortly after he became an abb^ of the 
Roman Catholic Church. After describing the 
scenery of the place she says: "Here Liszt had 
taken up his abode, renting two bare white- 
walled rooms for the summer, where he looked 
far more at home than among the splendours of 
the prelate's reception room or the feminine ele- 
gancies of the princess' boudoir. He seemed hap- 
pier, too — more cheerful, and light-hearted. He 
said he meant to be a hermit this summer, and 
the good Dominican lay brother attended to all 
his creature comforts, while he could solace him- 
self by hearing the daily mass said in the early 
265 



FRANZ LISZT 

morning in the little chapel, into which he could 
step at any moment. His piano stood in one 
comer of his little cell, his writing table was piled 
with books and music, and besides these there 
was nothing of interest in the room. The win- 
dow looked out upon one of the most glorious 
views of the world. Here Liszt seemed quite 
another being. He talked gaily, and suddenly 
started up, volunteering to play for us — a thing, 
many of his best friends said, they had not known 
him do for years. 

"It was all his own, yet, though peculiar, the 
sound did not resemble the sobbing music, the 
weird chords, his fingers had drawn forth from 
the keys as he played among conventional peo- 
ple in conventional evening gatherings. There 
was a freshness, a springiness, in to-day's per- 
formance which suited the place and hour, and 
that visit to the hermit-artist was indeed a fitting 
leave-taking for us who were so entranced with 
his pure, strong genius. Still, the artist had not 
forgotten to initiate us into one of the secrets of 
his simple retreat. The Dominicans of some 
remote mountain convent had kindly sent him 
a present of some wonderful liqueur — one of 
those impossible beverages associated in one's 
mind with Hebe's golden cups of flowing nectar, 
rather than with any commonplace drink. Liszt 
insisted upon our tasting this: green Chartreuse 
was nothing to it and we sc-arcely did more than 
taste. And this was the last time we saw him, 
this king-artist. It was a great privilege, and 
266 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

perhaps he, of all living artists we had come 
across, is the only one who could not disappoint 
one's ideal of him." 

KARL KIRKENBUHL 

This author, in his Federzeichnungen aus 
Rom, describes a visit to Liszt in 1867 : 

"The building in which Liszt resides in Rome 
is of unpretending appearance; it is, and fancy 
may have pictured such a place as Liszt's *Sans 
Souci,' a melancholy, plain little monastery. But 
by its position this quiet abode is so favoured 
that probably few homes in the wide world can 
be compared to it. Situated upon the old Via 
Sacra, it is the nearest neighbour of the Forum 
Romanum, while its windows look toward the 
Capitol, the ruins of the Palatine Palace and the 
Colosseum. In such a situation a life of con- 
templation is forced upon one. I mounted a few 
steps leading to the open door of the monastery, 
and all at once grew uncertain what to do, for I 
saw before me a handsome staircase adorned with 
pillars, such as I should not have expected from 
the poor exterior of the building. Had not a 
notice in the form of a visiting-card over the large 
door at the top of the stairs met my eye, I should 
have considered it necessary to make further in- 
quiries. As it was, however, I was able to gain 
from the card itself the information I needed. 
I approached and read: 'L'Abbd Franz Liszt.' 
So, really an Abbe! A visiting-card half supplies 
267 



FRANZ LISZT 

the place of an autopsy. After I arranged my 
necktie and pulled on my gloves more tightly, 
I courageously grasped the green cord that sum- 
moned the porter. Two servants, not in tail 
coat, it is true, but clad in irreproachable black, 
received me; one hastened to carry in my card, 
while the other helped me off with my topcoat. 

"My ideas of a genuine monkish life suffered 
a rude shock. Wherefore two servants before 
the cell of a monk; or if attendant spirits, why 
were they not, according to monastic rules, sim- 
ply lay brothers ? 

" But I had not long to puzzle my brains with 
these obtrusive questions, for I was presently 
plunged into still greater mental confusion. The 
messenger who had gone to announce me re- 
turned and ushered me in with a notification that 
Signor Abbate requested me to await a moment 
in — the drawing-room ! Yes, actually a draw- 
ing-room, in the most elegant acceptation of the 
word. It wanted nothing either of the requi- 
sites for northern comfort or of the contrivances 
demanded by the climate of Rome, though gla- 
ring luxury appeared scrupulously avoided. 

"I stood then in the saloon of the Commen- 
datore Liszt! Abbe and Commander! The cor- 
rect employment of the domestic titles rendered 
the first interview much more easy than it oth- 
erwise would have been. I was by no means so 
inquisitorial in my survey as to be able to give 
a Walter Scott-like description of Liszt's salon. 
Darkness, moreover, prevailed in the large apart- 
268 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

ment, as, according to Italian usage and neces- 
sity, the window shutters were closed against the 
rays of the morning sun. I was attracted by 
the album table in the middle of the apartment 
more than aught else. Upon it lay chiefly Italian 
works of a religious nature in votive bindings. 
That Liszt here, too, as Abbate, lives in the midst 
of creative spirits is proved by these dedicatory 
offerings. 

"The door was opened and the well-known 
artistic figure advanced in a friendly manner 
toward me. That the skilful fingers of the great 
pianist pressed the hand of me, a simple writer, 
is a fact, which, for the completeness of my nar- 
rative, must not remain unmentioned. The first 
and most immediate impression produced on 
me by Liszt's appearance was that of surpris- 
ing youthfulness. Even the unmistakably griz- 
zling, though still thick, long, flowing hair, 
which the scissors of the tonsure have not 
dared to touch, detracts but little from the 
heart entrancing charm of his unusual indi- 
viduality. Of fretfulness, satiety, monkish ab- 
negation, and so on, there is not a trace to 
be detected in the feature of Liszt's interest- 
ing and characteristic head. And just as lit- 
tle as we find Liszt in a monk's cell do we find 
him in a monk's cowl. The black soutane sits 
no less elegantly on him than, in its time, the 
dress coat. Those who look upon Liszt as a 
riddle will most decidedly not find the solution 
of it in his outward appearance. 
269 



FRANZ LISZT 

" After interchanging a few words of greeting, 
we proceeded to the workroom. After compel- 
ling me to take an arm-chair^ Liszt seated himself 
at the large writing-table, apologising to me by 
stating that he had a letter to despatch in a hurry. 
Upon this, too, lay a great many things, nearly all 
pertaining more to the Abbd than the artist. But 
neatly written sheets of music showed that musi- 
cal production formed part of the master's daily 
occupations. The comfortable room bore gener- 
ally the unmistakable stamp of a room for study, 
of an artist's workshop. The letter and the ad- 
dress were quickly finished, and handed to the 
attendant to seal and transmit. I mentioned the 
report connecting his approaching journey with 
the grand festival of joy and peace, the Corona- 
tion in Hungary. The popular maestro took this 
opportunity of giving me a detailed history of his 
Coronation Mass. He said that in the Prince- 
Primate Scitovsky he had possessed a most kind 
patron. In course of a joyous repast, as on 
many other occasions, the Prelate had given lively 
and hopeful utterance to the wish of his heart 
that he might yet be able to place the crown 
upon the head of his beloved king, and at the 
same time he called upon Liszt, in an unusually 
flattering and cordial manner, to compose the 
Coronation Mass, but it must be short, very short, 
as the entire ceremony would take about six 
hours. 

"Liszt was unable to resist this amiable re- 
quest, he said, and, drinking a glass of fiery 

270 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

Tokay, gave a promise that he would endeavour 
to produce some 'Essence of Tokay.' After his 
return to Rome he immediately set about the 
sketch. But the prospect of the desired agree- 
ment between the Emperor and the Hungarians 
had, meanwhile, become overcast, and his work 
remained a mere sketch. Some months ago, 
however, he was pressed by his Hungarian friends 
to proceed, and so he finished the mass. It was 
a question whether it would be performed on the 
day of the Coronation, since there was a condi- 
tion that the monarch should bring his own 
orchestra with him. Liszt said he was per- 
fectly neutral, and in no way wished to run 
counter to the just ambition of others; for, 
however the Ahh6 might be decried as ambi- 
tious, he added, with a smile, he was not so 
after all." 

In course of this open-hearted statement Liszt 
touched upon his relations to the present Prince- 
Primate of Hungary, and let fall a remark which 
is the more interesting because it throws a light 
upon his position in and toward Rome. The 
Abbd-Maestro said then that he had entered 
on a correspondence regarding his retirement 
from the diocese of the Prince of the Church, 
who had in the interim been raised to the dignity 
of Primate, and had every reason to believe that 
he enjoyed the Prelate's favour. He needed, 
however, a special letter of dismissal in order to 
be received into the personal lists of the Roman 
271 



FRANZ LISZT 

clergy; to this Liszt remarked, parenthetically, 
were limited all his clerical qualities. 

"I do not know more exactly what rights and 
duties are connected with the insertion of his 
name in the catalogue of the Roman clergy, 
though it appears that the nexus into which Liszt 
has entered toward the clerical world is rather 
an outward than a deep and inward one. 

"The cigar, which did not look, between the 
lips of the great musician, as if it had been treated 
with particular gentleness or care, had gone out. 
Liszt got up to reach the matches. While he was 
again lighting the narcotic weed he directed my 
attention to the pretty statuette of St. Elisabeth, 
which had attracted my gaze when I entered the 
room. It represents the kind-hearted Landgra- 
vine at the moment the miracle of roses is tak- 
ing place. It required no great power of com- 
bination to connect this graceful form, as an ova- 
tional gift, with Liszt's oratorio of St. Elisabeth. 
The popular master named the German hand 
which had fashioned the marble and offered it 
to him. He was thus led to speak of his orato- 
rio, and of the Wartburg Festival, for which it was 
originally intended, and at which it was given, 
but not until after Hungary had enjoyed the first 
performance. He spoke also of what he had 
done at the Grand Ducal Court. I was pecu- 
liarly touched by his reminiscences, how he had 
entered the service of a German prince, how he 
had 'knocked about' for several years at Wei- 
272 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

mar, 'without doing anything worth naming.* 
how his Prince had respected and distinguished 
him, and had probably never suspected that a 
permanent sojourn could result from Liszt's trip 
to Rome. 

"Here, where he moved in only a small circle 
— said Liszt, with marked emphasis, and again 
referring to the importance Rome possessed for 
him — here he found the long desired leisure for 
work. His Elisabeth, he said, had here sprung 
into existence, and also his oratorio of Petrus. 
He had, moreover, he remarked, notions which 
it would take him three years of thorough hard 
work to carry out. 

"He certainly knew, the Abbe-Maestro con- 
tinued, referring to his art-gospel, that here and 
there things which in other places had met with 
some response had been hissed, but he had no 
more hope for applause than he feared censure. 
He followed, he said, the path he considered the 
right one, and could say that he had consistently 
pursued the direction he had once taken. The 
only rule he adopted in the production of his 
works, as far as he had full power, was that 
of not compromising his friends or of exposing 
them to the disfavour of the public. Solely for 
this reason he had thought it incumbent on him, 
for instance, to refuse to send a highly esteemed 
colleague the score of his Elisabeth, in spite of 
two applications. 

"I expressed to my friendly host my delight 
at his good health and vigour, prognosticating 

273 



FRANZ LISZT 

a long continuance of fruitful activity. 'Oh! 
yes, I am quite satisfied with my state of health,' 
answered the master, 'though my legs will no 
longer render me their old service.' At the same 
time, in an access of boisterous merriment, he 
gave the upper part of his right thigh so hard a 
slap that I could not consider his regret particu- 
larly sincere. 

"Another of my remarks was directed to the 
incomparable site of his abode, which alone might 
make a middling poet produce great epic or ele- 
giac poetry. 'I live quietly and agreeably,' was 
the reply, 'both here and at Monte Mario, where 
there are a few rooms at my service, with a splen- 
did view over the city, the Tiber and the hills.' 
And not to remain my debtor for the ocular proof 
of what he said, at least as far as regarded his 
town residence, he opened a window and gazed 
silently with me on the overpowering seriousness 
of the ruined site. 

" The amiable maestro then conducted me rap- 
idly through two smaller rooms, one of which was 
his simple bed-chamber, to a wooden outhouse 
with a small window, through which were to be 
seen the Colosseum, in all its gigantic proportions, 
and the triumphal arch of Constantine close by, 
overtowered by Mount Coelius, now silent. 

" * A splendid balcony might be erected here,' 
observed Liszt, 'but the poor Franciscan monk 
has no money for such a purpose ! ' 

"Having returned to his study, I thought the 
time had arrived for bringing my first visit to a 
274 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

termination. The thanks conveyed in my words 
on taking leave were warm and sincere. I car- 
ried with me out of that quiet dwelling the convic- 
tion that in Liszt the true artist far outweighs the 
virtuoso and the monk, and that only such per- 
sons as formerly snobbishly shook their heads 
because Winkelmann took service and found an 
asylum with a cardinal, can scoff and make small 
jokes on Liszt's cell and monkish cowl." 

B. W. H. 

An American lady who signs herself "B. W. 
H.," and wrote some reminiscences of the great 
musician at Weimar in 1877, calls her contribu- 
tion An Hour Passed with Liszt: 

"How much more some of us get than we de- 
serve! A pleasure has come to us unsought. 
It came knocking at our door seeking entrance 
and we simply did not turn it away. It happened 
in this fashion: A friend had been visiting Liszt 
in Weimar and happened to mention us to the 
great master, who promised us a gracious re- 
ception should we ever appear there. To Wei- 
mar then we came, and the gracious reception 
we certainly had, to our satisfaction and lasting 
remembrance. 

"After sending our cards, and receiving per- 
mission to present ourselves at an appointed and 
early hour, we drove to the small, cosy house oc- 
cupied by Liszt when here, on the outskirts of the 
garden of the Duke of Saxe- Weimar, and were 

275 



FRANZ LISZT 

ushered by his Italian valet into a comfortable, 
cosy, home-like apartment, where we sat await- 
ing the great man's appearance. Wide case- 
ments opened upon a stretch of lawn and noble 
old trees; easy-chairs and writing-tables; MS. 
music, with the pen lying carelessly beside it; 
masses of music piled up on the floor, a row of 
books there, too; a grand piano and an upright 
one; a low dish of roses on the table; a carpet, 
which is not taken for granted here as with us — 
altogether the easy, friendly look of a cottage 
drawing-room at home, where people have a 
happy use of pleasant things. 

" He entered the room after a few minutes and 
greeted us with a charming amiability, for which 
we inwardly blessed the absent friend. Of course 
everybody knows how he looks — tall, thin, with 
long white hair; a long, black, robe-like coat, 
being an abbe; long, slight, sensitive hands; a 
manner used to courts, and a smile and grace rare 
in a man approaching seventy. He spoke of 
Anna Mehlig, and of several young artists just 
beginning their career, whom we personally 
know. Very graciously he mentioned Miss Ce- 
cilia Gaul, of Baltimore; spoke kindly of Miss 
Anna Bock, one of the youngest and most diligent 
of artists, and most forcibly perhaps of Carl Her- 
mann, like Anna Mehlig, a pupil in the Stuttgart 
Conservatory, 'There is something in the young 
man,' he said with emphasis. So he chatted in 
the most genial way of things great and small, 
as if he were not one of the world's geniuses, and 
276 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

we two little insignificant nobodies sitting be- 
fore him, overcome with a consciousness of his 
greatness and our nothingness, yet quite happy 
and at ease, as every one must be who comes 
within the sphere of his gracious kindliness. 

"Suddenly he rose and went to his writing- 
table, and, with one of his long, sweet smiles, 
so attractive in a man of his age — but why 
shouldn't a man know how to smile long, sweet 
smiles who has had innumerable thrilling roman- 
tic experiences with the sex that has always 
adored him ? — he took a bunch of roses from a 
glass on his table and brought it to us. Whether 
to kiss his hand or fall on our knees we did not 
quite know; but, America being less given than 
many lands to emotional demonstration, we 
smiled back with composure, and appeared, no 
doubt, as if we were accustomed from earliest 
youth to distinguished marks of favour from the 
world's great ones. 

"But the truth is we were not. And these 
roses which stood on Liszt's writing-table by his 
MS. music, presented by the hand that has made 
him famous, are already pressing and will be kept 
among our penates, except one, perhaps, that will 
be distributed leaf by leaf to hero-worshipping 
friends, with date and appropriate inscriptions 
on the sheet where it rests. How amiable he was, 
indeed! The roses were much, but something 
was to come. The Meister played to us. For 
this we had not even dared to hope during our 
first visit. No one, of course, ever asks him to 
277 



FRANZ LISZT 

play, and whether he does or not depends wholly 
on his mood. It was beautiful to sit there close 
by him, the soft lawns and trees, framed by the 
open casement, making a background for the 
tall figure, the long, peculiar hands wandering 
over the keys, the face full of intellect and power. 
And how he smiles as he plays! We fancied at 
first in our own simplicity that he was smiling 
at us, but later it seemed merely the music in his 
soul illuminating his countenance. His whole 
face changes and gleams, and grows majestic, 
revealing the master-spirit as his hands caress 
while they master the keys. With harrowing ex- 
periences of the difficulty of Liszt's compositions, 
we anticipated, as he began, something that 
would thunder and crash and teach us what 
pigmies we were; but as an exquisitely soft mel- 
ody filled the room, and tones came like whispers 
to our hearts, and a theme drawn with a tender, 
magical touch brought pictures and dreams of 
the past before us, we actually forgot where we 
were, forgot that the white-haired man was the 
famous Liszt, forgot to speak as the last faint 
chord died away, and sat in utter silence, quite 
lost to our surroundings, with unseeing eyes gaz- 
ing out through the casement. 

"At last he rose, took our hands kindly, and 
said, 'That is how I play when I am suffering 
from a cold as at present.' We asked if he had 
been improvising, or if what he played was al- 
ready printed. 'It was only a little nocturne,' 
he said. ' It sounded like a sweet remembrance.' 
278 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

'And was that,' he replied cordially. Then fear- 
ing to disturb him too long, and feeling we had 
been crowned with favours, we made our adieux, 
receiving a kind invitation to come the following 
day and hear the young artists who cluster around 
him here, some of whom he informed us played 
* famos.' And after we had left him he followed 
us out to the stairway to repeat his invitation and 
say another gracious word or two. And we went 
off to drive through Weimar, and only half ob- 
served its pleasant homely streets, its flat, unin- 
teresting, yet friendly aspect, its really charming 
park — so Lisztified we were, as a friend calls 
our state of mind. The place has, indeed, little 
to charm the stranger now, except the memories 
of Goethe and Schiller and all the famous literary 
stars who once made it glorious, and the presence 
of Liszt." 

The lives of musicians are, in general, so de- 
void of extraordinary incident, that the relation 
of them is calculated more to instruct than amuse. 

That of Liszt, however, was an exception to the 
rule. His adventures seemed to have been so 
many and so various as almost to encourage a 
belief that in describing them his literary ad- 
mirers often used the pen of romance. 

The last letter that Liszt indited with his own 
pen is addressed to Frau Sofie Menter, and is 
dated Bayreuth, July 3, 1886. What proved to 
be almost a death-bed epistle runs as follows : 

"To-morrow, after the religious marriage of 
my granddaughter Daniela von Bulow to Pro- 
279 



FRANZ LISZT 

fessor Henry Thode (art-historian), I betake my- 
self to my excellent friends the Munkacsys, Cha- 
teau Colpach, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. On 
the 20th July I shall be back here again for the 
first 7-8 performances of the Festspiel; then alas! 
I must put myself under the, to me, very disa- 
greeable cure at Kissingen, and in September an 
operation for the eyes is impending for me with 
Grafe at Halle. For a month past I have been 
quite unable to read, and almost unable to write, 
with much labour, a couple of lines. Two sec- 
retaries kindly help me by reading to me and writ- 
ing letters at my dictation. How delightful it 
would be to me, dear friend, to visit you at your 
fairy castle at Itter! But I do not see any op- 
portunity of doing so at present. Perhaps you 
will come to Bayreuth, where, from July 20th to 
the 7th August, will be staying your sincere 
friend F. Liszt." 

The master was spared the infliction of the 
cure he dreaded at Kissingen, and Frau Menter 
did not meet him at Bayreuth, for on July 31st 
Liszt died, what to him must have been a pleas- 
ant death, after witnessing the greatest work 
of the poet-composer whom he had done so much 
to befriend — Richard Wagner's Tristan und 
Isolde. 



280 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 



ERNEST LEGOUVE 

"I am about to make a very bold profession of 
faith — I adore the piano! All the jests at its 
expense, all the anathemas that are heaped upon 
it, are as revolting to me as so many acts of in- 
gratitude, I might say as so many absurdities. 

"To me the piano is one of the domestic lares, 
one of our household gods. It is, thanks to it, 
and it alone, that we have for ourselves and in 
our homes the most poetic and the most personal 
of all the arts — music. What is it that brings 
into our dwellings an echo of the Conservatory 
concerts? What is it that gives us the opera at 
our own firesides? What is it that unites four, 
five or six harmonious voices in the interpreta- 
tion of a masterpiece of vocal music, as the trio 
of Don Juan, the quartet of Moses, or the finale 
of the Barber of Seville? The piano, and the 
piano alone. Were the piano to be abolished 
how could you have the exquisite joy of hearing 
Faure in your own chamber ? I say Faure, but 
I might say Taffanel, Gillet, all the instrumental- 
ists, for all instruments are its tributaries. They 
all have need of it; it alone needs none. 

"Auber said to me one day: 'What I admire, 
perhaps, most in Beethoven are some of his so- 
natas, because in them his thought shows clearly 
in all its pure beauty, unencumbered by the orna- 
ments of orchestral riches.' But for what in- 
strument were the sonatas of Beethoven com- 
281 



FRANZ LISZT 

posed ? For the piano. I cannot forget that the 
entire work of Chopin was written for the piano. 
Besides, it is the confidant of the man of genius, 
of all that he does not write. Ah! if the piano 
of Weber might repeat what the author of Der 
Freischiitz has spoken to it alone! And, great- 
est superiority of all, the piano is of all the in- 
struments the only one that is progressive. 

"A Stradivarius and an Amati remain superior 
to all the violins of to-day, and it is not certain 
that the horn, the flute and the hautbois have not 
lost as much as they have gained with all the 
present superabundance of keys and pistons. 
The piano only has always gained in its trans- 
formations, and every one of its enlargements, 
adding something to its power of expression, has 
enabled it to improve even the interpretation of 
the old masters, 

" One day when Thalberg was playing at my 
home a sonata of Mozart on a Pleyel piano, Ber- 
lioz said to me: *Ah! if Mozart were with us, 
he would hear his admirable andante as he sung 
it to himself in his breast!' 

"One of my most precious musical memories is, 
then, to have not only known but to have associ- 
ated with and to have enjoyed in intimacy the 
three great triumvirs of the piano — Liszt, Thal- 
berg, and Chopin. The arrival of Thalberg in 
Paris was a revelation, I could willingly say a rev- 
olution. I know only Paganini, whose appear- 
ance produced the same melange of enthusiasm 
and astonishment. Both excited the same feel- 
282 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

ing that one experiences in the presence of the 
unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable. 
I attended Paganini's first concert (it was at the 
Opera) in company with De Beriot. De Beriot 
held in his hand a oopy of the piece that Paganini 
was to play. 'This man is a charlatan,' he said 
to me, *he cannot execute what is printed here, 
because it is not executable.' Paganini began. 
I listened to the music and watched De Beriot at- 
tentively. All at once he exclaimed to himself, 
*Ah! the rascal, I understand! He has modi- 
fied the tuning of his instrument.' 

''There was a hke surprise at Thalberg's first 
concert. It was at the Th^^tre des Italiens, in 
the daytime, in the public foyer. I attended in 
company with Julius Benedict, who was, it was 
said, Weber's only piano pupil. I shall never 
forget his stupefaction, his amazement. Lean- 
ing feverishly toward the instrument, to which 
we were very near, his eyes fastened upon those 
fingers that seemed to him like so many ma- 
gicians, he could hardly believe his eyes or his 
ears. For him, as De Beriot, there had been in 
the printed works of Thalberg something which 
he could not explain. Only the secret this time 
was not in the instrument, but in the performer. 
It was not this time the strings that were changed, 
it was the fingers. 

"A new method of fingering enabled Thalberg 

to cause the piano to express what it had never 

expressed before. Benedict's emotion was all 

the more intense that the poor fellow chanced to 

283 



FRANZ LISZT 

be in a very unique frame of mind and heart. 
His young wife, whom he worshipped, had de- 
parted that morning to join her parents at Naples. 
The separation was to last only for less than six 
months, but he was profoundly sad, and it was 
to distract his mind that I had taken him to the 
concert. But once there, there took place in 
him the strangest amalgamation of the husband 
and the pianist. At once despairing and en- 
chanted, he reminded me of the man in Rabelais 
who, hearing the church bells ring out, at almost 
the same moment, the baptism of his son and the 
funeral service of his wife, wept with one eye and 
laughed with the other. Benedict would break 
forth into exclamations both comical and touch- 
ing. He went from his wife to Thalberg and 
from Thalberg to his wife. 'Ah!- dear Adele, 
this is frightful!' he would exclaim in one breath, 
and with the next, *Ah! dear Thalberg, that 
is delightful!' I have still ringing in my ears 
the original duo that he sang that day to him- 
self. 

"Thalberg's triumph irritated Liszt profoundly. 
It was not envy. He was incapable of any low 
sentiment. His was the rage of a dethroned 
king. He called Thalberg's school disdainfully 
the Thumb school. But he was not a man to 
yield his place without defending himself, and 
there ensued between them a strife that was all 
the more striking that the antithesis between the 
two men was as great as the difference in their 
talents. 

284 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"Liszt's attitude at the piano, like that of a py- 
thoness, has been remarked again and again. 
Constantly tossing back his long hair, his lips 
quivering, his nostrils palpitating, he swept the 
auditorium with the glance of a smiling master. 
He had some little trick of the comedian in his 
manner, but he was not that. He was a Hun- 
garian; a Hungarian in two aspects, at once 
Magyar and Tzigane. True son of the race 
that dances to the clanking of its spurs. His 
countrymen understood him well when they sent 
him as a testimonial of honour an enormous 
sabre. 

"There was nothing of the kind about Thalberg. 
He was the gentleman artist, a perfect union of 
talent and propriety. He seemed to have taken 
it for his rule to be the exact opposite of his rival. 
He entered noiselessly; I might almost say with- 
out displacing the air. After a dignified greet- 
ing that seemed a trifle cold in manner, he seated 
himself at the piano as though upon an ordinary 
chair. The piece began, not a gesture, not a 
change of countenance ! not a glance toward the 
audience! If the applause was enthusiastic, a 
respectful inclination of the head was his only re- 
sponse. His emotion, which was very profound, 
as I have had more than one proof, betrayed it- 
self only by a violent rush of blood to the head, 
colouring his ears, his face and his neck. Liszt 
seemed seized with inspiration from the beginning; 
with the first note he gave himself up to his talent 
without reserve, as prodigals throw their money 
285 



FRANZ LISZT 

from the window without counting it, and how- 
ever long was the piece his inspired fervour never 
flagged. 

"Thalberg began slowly, quietly, calmly, but 
with a calm that thrilled. Under those notes so 
seemingly tranquil one felt the coming storm. 
Little by little the movement quickened, the ex- 
pression became more accentuated, and by a 
series of gradual crescendos he held one breath- 
less until a final explosion swept the audience 
with an emotion indescribable. 

"I had the rare good fortune to hear these two 
great artists on the same day, in the same salon, 
at an interval of a quarter of an hour, at a concert 
given by the Princess Belgiojoso for the Poles. 
There was then revealed to me palpably, clearly, 
the characteristic difference in their talent. Liszt 
was incontestably the more artistic, the more vi- 
brant, the more electric. He had tones of a del- 
icacy that made one think of the almost inaudible 
tinkling of tiny spangles or the faint explosion of 
sparks of fire. Never have fingers bounded so 
lightly over the piano. But at the same time 
his nervosity caused him to produce sometimes 
effects a trifle hard, a trifle harsh. I shall never 
forget that, after a piece in which Liszt, carried 
away by his fury, had come down very hard upon 
the keys, the sweet and charming Pleyel ap- 
proached the instrument and gazed with an ex- 
pression of pity upon the strings. 'What are 
you doing, my dear friend?' I asked, laugh- 
ing. 'I am looking at the field of battle,' here- 
286 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

sponded in a melancholy tone; 'I am counting 
the wounded and the dead.' 

"Thalberg never pounded. What constituted 
his superiority, what made the pleasure of hear- 
ing him play a luxury to the ear, was pure tone. 
I have never heard such another, so full, so 
round, so soft, so velvety, so sweet, and still so 
strong! How shall I say it? The voice of Al- 
boni. 

"At this concert in hearing Liszt I felt myself 
in an atmosphere charged with electricity and 
quivering with lightning. In hearing Thalberg 
I seemed to be floating in a sea of purest light. 
The contrast between their characters was not 
less than between their talent. I had a striking 
proof of it with regard to Chopin. 

"It is not possible to compare any one with 
Chopin, because he resembled no one. Every- 
thing about him pertained only to himself. He 
had his own tone, his own touch. All the great 
artists have executed and still execute the works 
of Chopin with great ability, but in reality only 
Chopin has played Chopin. But he never ap- 
peared in public concerts nor in large halls. He 
liked only select audiences and limited gather- 
ings, just as he would use no other piano than a 
Pleyel, nor have any other tuner than Frederic. 
We, fanatics that we were, were indignant at his 
reserve ; we demanded that the public should hear 
him; and one day in one of those fine flights of 
enthusiasm that have caused me to make more 
than one blunder I wrote in Schlesinger's Gazette 
287 



FRANZ LISZT 

Musicale: 'Let Chopin plunge boldly into the 
stream, let him announce a grand soiree musicale 
and the next day when the eternal question shall 
arise, "Who is the greater pianist to-day, Liszt 
or Thalberg?" the public will answer with us, 
"It is Chopin.'" 

"To be frank, I had done better not to have 
written that article. I should have recalled my 
friendly relations with the two others. Liszt 
would have nothing to do with me for more than 
two months. But the day after the one on which 
my article appeared Thalberg was at my door at 
ten in the morning. He stretched out his hand 
as he entered, saying, 'Bravo! your article is 
only just.' 

"At last their rivalry, which in reality had never 
been more than emulation, assumed a more ac- 
centuated, a more striking form. Until then no 
pianist had ventured to play in the hall of a large 
theatre with an auditorium of 1,200 or 1,500. 
Thalberg, impelled by his successes, announced 
a concert in the Theatre des Italiens, not in the 
foyer, but in the main auditorium. He played 
for the first time his Moses, and his success was 
a triumph. 

"Liszt, somewhat piqued, saw in Thalberg's 
triumph a defiance, and he announced a concert 
at the Opera. For his battle horse he took Web- 
er's Concertstiick. I was at the concert. He 
placed a box at my disposal, requesting that I 
should give an account of the evening in the 
Gazette Musicale. I arrived full of hope and joy. 
288 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

A first glance over the hall checked my ardour 
a trifle. There were many, very many, present, 
but here and there were empty spaces that dis- 
quieted me. My fears were not without reason. 
It was a half success. Between numbers I en- 
countered Berlioz, with whom I exchanged my 
painful impressions, and I returned home quite 
tormented over the article I was to write. The 
next day I had hardly seated myself at my table 
when I received a letter from Liszt. I am happy 
to reproduce here the principal part of that let- 
ter, for it discloses an unknown Liszt, a modest 
Liszt. Yes, modest! It only half astonished 
me, for a certain circumstance had revealed this 
Liszt to me once before. It was at Scheffer's, 
who was painting his portrait. When posing 
Liszt assumed an air of inspiration. Scheffer, 
with his surpassing brusqueness, said to him: 
'The devil, Liszt! Don't put on the airs of a 
man of genius with me. You know well enough 
that I am not fooled by it.' 

" What response did Liszt make to these rude 
words ? He was silent a moment, then going up 
to Scheffer he said: 'You are right, my dear 
friend. But pardon me; you do not know how 
it spoils one to have been an infant prodigy.' 
This response seemed to me absolutely delicious 
in its sweet simplicity — I might say in its hu- 
mility. The letter that I give below has the same 
character: 

" 'You have shown me of late an affection so 
comprehensive that I ask your permission to 
289 



FRANZ LISZT 

speak as a friend to a friend. Yes, my dear 
Legouve, it is as to a friend that I am about to 
confess to you a weakness. I am very glad that 
it is you who are to write of my concert yester- 
day, and I venture to ask you to remain silent 
for this time, and for this time only, concerning 
the defective side of my talent.' 

"Is it possible, I ask, to make a more difficult 
avowal with more delicacy or greater frankness ? 
Do we know many of the great artists capable 
of writing 'the defective side of my talent'? 
* ' I sent him immediately the following response : 
" *No, my dear friend, I will not do what you 
ask! No, I will not maintain silence concerning 
the defective side of your talent, for the very sim- 
ple reason that you never displayed greater talent 
than yesterday. Heaven defend me from deny- 
ing the coldness of the public, or from proclaim- 
ing your triumph when you have not triumphed! 
That would be unworthy of you, and, permit me 
to add, of me. But what was it that happened ? 
and why this half failure? Ah! blunderer that 
you were, what a strategic error you committed! 
Instead of placing the orchestra back of you, as 
at the Conservatory, so as to bring you directly 
in contact with your audience, and to establish 
between you and them an electric current, you 
cut the wire; you left this terrible orchestra in 
its usual place. You played across I know not 
how many violins, violoncellos, horns, and trom- 
bones, and the voice of your instrument, to reach 
us, had to pass through all that warring orches- 
290 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

tra ! And you are astonished at the result ! But, 
my dear friend, how was it two months ago at 
the Conservatory that with the same piece you 
produced such a wonderful effect? It was be- 
cause that, in front alone, with the orchestra be- 
hind you, you appeared like a cavalry colonel 
at the head of his regiment, his horse in full gal- 
lop, his sabre in hand, leading on his soldiers, 
whose enthusiasm was only the accompaniment 
of his own. At the Opera the colonel abandoned 
his place at the head of his regiment, and placed 
himself at its rear. Fine cause for surprise that 
your tones did not reach us resounding and vi- 
brant! This is what happened, my dear friend, 
and this is what I shall say, and I shall add that 
there was no one but Liszt in the world who could 
have produced under such conditions the effect 
that you produced. For in reality your failure 
would have been a great success for any other 
than you. 

" 'With this, wretched strategist, I send you a 
cordial pressure of the hand, and begin my arti- 
cle.' 

" The following Sunday my article appeared, and 
I had the great pleasure to have satisfied him." 

ROBERT SCHUMANN ON LISZT'S PLAYING 

" Liszt is now [1840] probably about thirty years 

old. Every one knows well that he was a child 

phenomenon; how he was early transplanted to 

foreign lands; that his name afterward appeared 

291 



FRANZ LISZT 

here and there among the most distinguished; 
that then the rumour of it occasionally died away, 
until Paganini appeared, inciting the youth to 
new endeavours; and that he suddenly appeared 
in Vienna two years ago, rousing the imperial 
city to enthusiasm. Thus he appeared among 
us of late, already honoured, with the highest 
honours that can be bestowed on an artist, and 
his fame already estabhshed. 

"The first concert, on the 17th, was a remark- 
able one. The multitudinous audience was so 
crowded together that even the hall looked al- 
tered. The orchestra was also filled with listen- 
ers, and among them — Liszt. 

"He began with the Scherzo and Finale of Bee- 
thoven's Pastoral Symphony. The selection was 
capricious enough, and on many accounts not 
happy. At home, in a tete-a-tete, a highly careful 
transcription may lead one almost to forget the 
orchestra; but in a large hall, in the same place 
where we have been accustomed to hear the 
symphony played frequently and perfectly by 
the orchestra, the weakness of the pianoforte is 
striking, and the more so the more an attempt 
is made to represent masses in their strength. 
Let it be understood, with all this, we had heard 
the master of the instrument; people were satis- 
fied; they at least, had seen him shake his mane. 
To hold to the same illustration, the lion pres- 
ently began to show himself more powerful. 
This was in a fantasia on themes by Pacini, 
which he played in a most remarkable manner. 
292 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

But I would sacrifice all the astonishing, the au- 
dacious bravura that he displayed here for the 
sake of the magical tenderness that he expressed 
in the following dtude. With the sole exception 
of Chopin, as I have already said, I know not 
one who equals him in this quality. He closed 
with the well-known Chromatic Gallop; and as 
the applause this elicited was endless, he also 
played his equally well-known bravura waltz. 

"Fatigue and indisposition prevented the artist 
from giving the concert promised for the next 
day. In the meantime a musical festival was 
prepared for him, that will never be forgotten by 
Liszt himself or the others present. The giver 
of the festival (Felix Mendelssohn) had selected 
for performance some compositions unknown to 
his guest: Franz Schubert's symphony (in C); 
his own psalm, As the Hart Pants; the overture, 
A Calm Sea and a Prosperous Voyage; three 
choruses from St. Paul; and, to close with, the 
D-minor concerto for three pianos by Sebastian 
Bach. This was played by Liszt, Mendelssohn, 
and Hiller. It seemed as though nothing had 
been prepared, but all improvised instantane- 
ously. Those were three such happy musical 
hours as years do not always bring. At the end 
Liszt played alone, and wonderfully. 

"Liszt's most genial performance was yet to come 
— Weber's Concertstiick, which he played at his 
second concert. Virtuoso and public seemed to 
be in the freshest mood possible on that evening, 
and the enthusiasm before and after his playing 

293 



FRANZ LISZT 

exceeded anything hitherto known here. Al- 
though Liszt grasped the piece, from the begin- 
ning, with such force and grandeur of expression 
that an attack on a battle-field would seem to be 
in question, yet he carried this on with continu- 
ally increasing power, until the passage where 
the player seemed to stand at the summit of the 
orchestra, leading it forward in triumph. Here, 
indeed, he resembled that great commander to 
whom he has been compared, and the tempestu- 
ous applause that greeted him was not unlike an 
adoring "Vive I'Empereur!" He then played 
a fantasia on themes from the Huguenots, the 
Ave Maria and Serenade, and, at the request of 
the public, the Erl-King of Schubert. But the 
Concertstiick was the crown of his performances 
on this evening." 

LISZT IN RUSSIA 

"Liszt visited Russia for the first time in 1842," 
writes Rose Newmarch. "I do not know whether 
this journey was part of the original scheme of 
his great two years' tour on the continent (1840- 
1842), or if he only yielded to the pressing invi- 
tations of several influential Russian friends. 
Early in 1839, among the many concerts which 
he gave in Rome, none was more brilliant than 
the recital organised by the famous Russian ama- 
teur. Count Bielgorsky, at the house of Prince 
Galitsin, Governor- General of Moscow, who was 
wintering in the Italian capital. During the fol- 
294 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

lowing year, Liszt spent three days at Ems, where 
he was presented to the Empress Alexandra 
Feodorovna, to whom he played every evening 
during his brief visit. The Empress was fasci- 
nated by his genius, and enjoined him to visit 
Russia without delay. 

"The phenomenal success of the twenty- two 
concerts which Liszt gave in Berlin during the 
winter of 1841-1842, soon became a subject of 
gossip in Petersburg, and his arrival was awaited 
with unprecedented excitement. He reached 
the capital early in April, and was almost im- 
mediately presented to Nicholas I. On enter- 
ing the audience chamber, the Emperor, ignor- 
ing the presence of numerous generals and high 
oflBicials who were awaiting an audience, went 
straight to Liszt saying, "Monsieur Liszt, I am 
delighted to see you in Petersburg," and im- 
mediately engaged him in conversation. A day 
or two later, on the 8th of April, Liszt gave his 
first concert in the Salle de la Noblesse, before 
an audience of three thousand people. This 
concert was both a novel and an important event 
in Russia. Not only was it the first recital ever 
heard there — for before Liszt's day, no single 
artist had attempted to hold the public attention 
by the spell of his own unaided gifts — but it was 
also the first tie in a close and lasting bond be- 
tween the great virtuoso and the Russian people. 
In after years, no one was quicker to discern the 
attractive qualities of Russian music, nor more 
assiduous in its propagation than Franz Liszt. 

295 



FRANZ LISZT 

"In the memoirs of contemporary Russian writ- 
ers there are many interesting references to 
Liszt's first appearance in Petersburg. Not only 
do these reminiscences show the extraordinary 
glamour and interest which invested the person- 
ality of the master; they throw some light upon 
social life in Russia during the first half of the 
century. 

"The brilliant audience which flocked to the 
Salle de la Noblesse to hear Liszt, numbered no 
greater enthusiasts than the two young students 
of the School of Jurisprudence, Stassov and 
Serov. Both were destined to attain celebrity 
in after-life; the former as a great critic, and the 
chief upholder of national art; the latter, as the 
composer of at least one popular opera, and the 
leading exponent of the Wagnerian doctrines in 
Russia. Stassov's reminiscences are highly pic- 
turesque. We seem actually to see the familiar 
figure of the pianist as he entered the magnificent 
Hall of the Nobility, leaning on the arm of Count 
Bielgorsky, an "elderly Adonis" and typical 
dandy of the forties. Bielgorsky was somewhat 
inclined to obesity, moved slowly, and stared at 
the elegant assemblage with prominent, short- 
sighted eyes. His hair was brushed back and 
curled, after the model of the Apollo Belvedere, 
while he wore an enormous white cravat. Liszt 
also wore a white cravat, and over it the Order of 
the Golden Spur, bestowed upon him a short 
time previously by the Pope. He was further 
adorned with various other orders suspended by 
496 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

chains from the lapels of his dress coat. But that 
which struck the Russians most was the great 
mane of fair hair reaching almost to his shoul- 
ders. Outside the priesthood, no Russian would 
have ventured on such a style of hair-dressing. 
Such dishevelment had been sternly discoun- 
tenanced since the time of Peter the Great. Stas- 
sov, afterward one of the warmest admirers of 
Liszt, both as man and musician, was not al- 
together favourably impressed by this first sight 
of the virtuoso. "He was very thin, stooped a 
great deal, and though I had read much about 
his famous 'Florentine profile' and his likeness 
to Dante, I did not find his face beautiful. I 
was not pleased with his mania for decking him- 
self with orders, and afterwards I was as little 
prepossessed by his somewhat affected demean- 
our to those who came in contact with him." 

"After the first hush of intense curiosity, the en- 
tire assembly began to discuss Liszt in a sub- 
dued murmur. Stassov, who sat close to Glinka 
and a well-known pianist — Madame Palibin — 
caught the following conversation. Madame 
Palibin inquired if Glinka had already heard 
Liszt. He replied that he had met him the night 
before at Count Bielgorsky's reception. 'Well, 
what did you think of him ? ' Glinka answered, 
without a moment's hesitation, that sometimes 
Liszt played divinely — like no one else in the 
world; at other times atrociously, with exag- 
gerated emphasis, dragging the 'tempi,' and 
adding — even to the music of Chopin, Bee- 
297 



FRANZ LISZT 

thoven, and Bach — tasteless embellishments of 
his own. *I was horribly scandalised,' says 
Stassov. 'What! Did our "mediocre" Rus- 
sian musician' (this was Stassov's first sight of 
Glinka, and a short time before the appearance 
of Russlane and Lioudmilla) 'venture thus to 
criticise the great genius Liszt, who had turned 
the heads of all Europe ! ' Madame Palibin, too, 
seemed to disapprove of Glinka's criticism, and 
said laughingly, ' Allons done, tout cela, ce n'est 
que rivalite de metier! ' Glinka smiled urbanely, 
shrugged his shoulders, and replied, 'As you 
please.' 

"At this moment Liszt mounted the platform, 
and, pulling his dog-skin gloves from his shapely 
white hands, tossed them carelessly on the floor. 
Then, after acknowledging the thunderous ap- 
plause — such as had not been heard in Russia 
for over a century — he seated himself at the 
piano. There was a silence as though the whole 
audience had been turned to stone, and Liszt, 
without any prelude, began the opening bars of 
the overture to William Tell. Criticism, curi- 
osity, speculation, all were forgotten in the won- 
derful enchantment of the performance. Among 
other things, he played his fantasia on Don Juan, 
his arrangements of Adelaide, and The Erl King, 
and wound up the recital with his showy Galop 
Chromatique. 

" 'After the concert,' says Stassov, ' Serov and 
I were like madmen. We scarcely exchanged a 
word, but hurried home, each to write down his 
298 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

impressions, dreams, and raptures. But we both 
vowed to keep the anniversary of this day sacred 
for ever, and never, while life lasted, to forget a 
single incident of it. We were like men in love, 
or bewitched. What wonder? Never before 
had we come face to face with such a gifted, im- 
passioned, almost demoniacal personality as that 
of Liszt, who seemed alternately to let loose the 
forces of the whirlwind, or to carry us away on a 
flood of tenderness, grace, and beauty." 

"Serov felt even more strongly the fascination 
of Liszt's genuis. The same evening he sent to 
Stassov the following record of his impressions: 
'First, let me congratulate you on your initia- 
tion into the great mysteries of art, and then — let 
me think a little. It is two hours since I left the 
Hall, and I am still beside myself. Where am 
I ? Am I dreaming, or under a spell ? Have I 
indeed heard Liszt? I expected great things 
from all the accounts I had heard, and still more 
from a kind of inward conviction — but how far 
the reality surpassed my expectations! Happy, 
indeed, are we to be living in 1842, at the same 
time as such an artist! Fortunate, indeed, that 
we have been privileged to hear him! I am 
gushing a great deal — too much for me, but I 
cannot contain myself. Bear with me in this lyr- 
ical crisis until I can express myself calmly . . . 
What a festival it has been ! How different every- 
thing looks in God's world to-day! And all this 
is the work of one man and his playing! What a 
power is music! I cannot collect my thoughts 
299 



FRANZ LISZT 

— my whole being seems in a state of abnormal 
tension, of confused rapture ! ' 

" Do we experience this exaltation nowadays? 
I think not. Rarely do we partake of the insane 
root. Are there no more enchanters like Liszt? 
Or has the capacity of such enthusiasm and ex- 
pansion passed away for ever with the white 
stocks, the 'coiffure k I'Apollon Belvedere' and 
the frank emotionalism of the early Victorian 
period?" 

LISZT IN ENGLAND 

"The visits of great musicians to our shores 
have furnished much interesting material to the 
musical historian," wrote the Musical Times. 
"Those of Mozart and Haydn, for instance, have 
been fully and ably treated by the late Carl Ferdi- 
nand Pohl, in two volumes which have never been 
translated, as they deserve to be, into the English 
language. No less interesting are the sojourn- 
ings in London and the provinces of Spohr, 
Weber, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Berlioz, Verdi, 
and Wagner. 'The King of Pianists' has not 
hitherto received the attention due to him in 
this respect, and the following chit-chat upon his 
English experiences is offered as a small contribu- 
tion to the existing biographical information con- 
cerning a great man. 

"Franz was a boy of twelve years of age, when 

he made his first appearance in London in the year 

1824. At that time Rossini shone as the bright 

particular star in the London musical firmament. 

300 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

The composer of II Barbiere actually gave con- 
certs. 'Persons desirous .of obtaining tickets 
are requested to send their names to Signor Ros- 
sini, 90, Quadrant [Regent Street],' so the adver- 
tisements stated. It was therefore thought de- 
sirable to postpone the appearance of the little 
Hungarian pianist until after Rossini had fin- 
ished his music-makings. 

"The first appearance of Liszt in England was 
of a semi-private nature. On June 5, 1824, the 
Annual Festival of the Royal Society of Musi- 
cians took place. The account of the dinner 
given in the Morning Post contains the follow- 
ing information: 

" 'Master Liszt (a youth from Hungary) per- 
formed on a Grand Pianoforte with an improved 
action, invented by Sebastian Erard, the cele- 
brated Harp-maker, of very great power and 
brilliancy of tone. 

" 'To do justice to the performance of Master 
Liszt is totally out of our power; his execution, 
taste, expression, genius, and wonderful extem- 
porary playing, defy any written description. 
He must be heard to be duly appreciated.' 

" Among those who heard Master Liszt was a 
certain Master Wesley (Samuel Sebastian of that 
ilk), who, as a Chapel Royal Chorister, took part 
in the glees sung at that festive board. The 
Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review of 1824 
(p. 241) thus referred to the young pianist's per- 
formance : 

" 'We heard this youth first at the dinner of 
the Royal Society of Musicians, where he extem- 
301 



FRANZ LISZT 

porised for about twenty minutes before that 
judgmatical audience of professors and their 
friends.' 

"The announcement of Liszt's concert ap- 
peared in the Morning Post in these terms: 

" *NEW ARGYLL ROOMS 

" * Master Liszt, aged twelve years, a native of 
Hungary . . . respectfully informs the Nobility, 
Gentry, and the Public in general, that his Benefit 
Concert will take place this evening, June 21, 
1824, to commence at half-past 8 precisely, when 
he will perform on Sebastian Erard's new patent 
Grand Pianoforte, a Concerto by Hummel, New 
variations by Winkhler, and play extempore on a 
written Thema, which Master Liszt will request 
any person of the company to give him. . . . 

" ' Leader, Mr. Mori. Conductor, Sir George 
Smart. Tickets, half-a-guinea each, to be had 
of Master Liszt, 18, Great Marlborough Street.' 

"In an account of the concert the Morning Post 
said: 'Notwithstanding the contrary motions 
which occurred on Monday night of Pasta's ben- 
efit and a Grand Rout given by Prince Leo- 
pold, there was a numerous attendance.' The 
musicians present included Clementi, J. B. Cra- 
mer, Ries, Neate, Kalkbrenner, and Cipriani Pot- 
ter, all of whom 'rewarded Master Liszt with 
repeated hravosJ The programme included an 
air with variations by Czemy, played by Liszt, 
who also took part in Di Tanti Palpiti, performed 
"as a concertante with Signor Vimercati on his 
little mandolin with uncommon spirit.' The re- 
302 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

mainder of the Morning Post notice may be 
quoted in full: 

" * Sir G. Smart (who conducted the Concert) 
invited any person in the company to oblige 
Master Liszt with a Thema, on which he would 
work (as the phrase is) extemporaneously. Here 
an interesting pause took place ; at length a lady 
named Zitti, Zitti. The little fellow, though not 
very well acquainted with the air, sat down and 
roved about the instrument, occasionally touch- 
ing a few bars of the melody, then taking it as a 
subject for a transient fugue; but the best part 
of this performance was that wherein he intro- 
duced the air with his right hand, while the left 
swept the keys chromatically; then he crossed 
over his right hand, played the subject with the 
left, while the right hand descended by semi- 
tones to the bottom of the instrument! It is 
needless to add, that his efforts were crowned 
with the most brilliant success.' 

"Liszt took part in two grand miscellaneous 
concerts given at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, 
on the 2d and 4th of August, the other chief at- 
traction being The Infant Lyra, a prodigy harp- 
ist 'not four years old,' and nine years younger 
than the juvenile Hungarian pianist. The pro- 
gramme included ' an extempore fantasia on 
Erard's new patent grand pianoforte of seven 
octaves by Master Liszt, who will respectfully 
request a written thema from any person present.' 
The advertisement of the second concert in- 
cluded the following: 

" 'Master Liszt being about to return to the 

303 



FRANZ LISZT 

Continent where he is eagerly expected in conse- 
quence of his astonishing talents, and the Infant 
Lyra being on his way to London, the only op- 
portunity which can occur for the inhabitants of 
Manchester to hear them has been seized by Mr. 
Ward; and to afford every possible advantage 
to the Voices and Instruments, he has so con- 
structed the Orchestra, that the Harp, and 
Piano-Forte will be satisfactorily heard in every 
part of the house.' 

"The young gentleman was honoured with a 
* command ' to perform before King George the 
Fourth at Windsor Castle. In the words of 
the Windsor Express of July 31, 1824: 

" ' On Thursday evening, young Lizt (sic), the 
celebrated juvenile performer on the pianoforte, 
was introduced to the King at Windsor by Prince 
Esterhazy. In the course of the evening he 
played several pieces of Handel's and Mozart's 
upon the piano, which he executed in a style to 
draw forth the plaudits of His Majesty and the 
company present.' 

"In the following year (1825), Master Liszt 
paid his second visit to England and again ap- 
peared in Manchester. 

"At his third visit (in 1827), he made the ac- 
quaintance of the late Charles Salaman, two 
years his senior, who heard Liszt play Hummel's 
Concerto. In his pleasantly-written recollec- 
tions of pianists of the past (Blackwood's Maga- 
zine, September, 1901), Mr. Salaman says: 

" * Very shortly afterwards — just before Liszt's 
morning concert, for which my father had pur- 

304 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

chased tickets from his father — we became ac- 
quainted. I visited him and his father at their 
lodgings in Frith Street, Soho, and young Liszt 
came to early family dinner at my home. He was 
a very charmingly natural and unaffected boy, 
and I have never forgotten his joyful exclamation, 
*Oh, gooseberry pie!' when his favourite dish 
was put upon the table. We had a good deal of 
music together on that memorable afternoon, 
reading several duets. Liszt played some of his 
recently published Etudes, Op. 6, a copy of which 
he gave me, and in which he wrote specially for 
me an amended version of the sixth study, Molto 
agitato.' 

''Here is the programme of the morning con- 
cert above referred to: 

NEW ARGYLL ROOMS 

MASTER LISZT 

Has the honour to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and his 

Friends, that his 

MORNING CONCERT 

will take place at the above rooms on 

Saturday, June 9, 1827 

Part I 
Overture to Les Deux Journees, arranged by 

Mr. Moscheles for four performers on 

two Grand Piano Fortes, Mr. Be ale, 

Master Liszt, Mr. Martin, and Mr. 

WiGLEY Cheruhini 

Aria, Mr. Begrez Beethoven 

Fantasia, Harp, on Irish Airs, Mr. Labarre Labarre 



FRANZ LISZT 

Duetto, Miss Grant {Pupil of Mr. CRI- 
YELLl at the Royal Academy of Music) 
and Signer Torri Rossini 

Concerto (MS.), Piano Forte, with Orches- 
tral Accompaniments, Master Liszt . Master Liszt 

Song, Miss Stephens. 

Solo, French Horn, Mr. G. Schuncke . G. Schuncke 

Aria, Miss Betts Rossini 

Duetto, Miss Fanny Ayton and Mr. Be- 

GREZ, "Amor! possente nome". . . Rossini 

Fantasia, Violin, Mr. Mori. 

Scena, Mr. Braham Zingarelli 

Extempore Fantasia on a given subject, Master Liszt. 

Part II 

Quartet for Voice, Harp, Piano Forte, and 

Violin, Miss Stephens, Mr. Labarre, 

Master Liszt, and Mr. Mori Moscheles and Mayseder 
Aria, Miss Fanny Ayton, "Una voce poco 

fa" Rossini 

Solo, Guitar, Mr. Huerta Huerta 

Duet, Miss Stephens and Mr. Braham. 

Song, Miss Love, "Had I a heart." 

Fantasia, Flute, Master Minasi . . . Master Minasi 

Song, Miss Grant, "The Nightingale" . Crivelli 

Brilliant Variations on "Rule Britannia," 

Master Liszt Master Liszt 



Leader, Mr. Mori Conductor, Mr. Schuncke 

THE CONCERT WILL COMMENCE AT HALF-PAST ONE O'CLOCK 
PRECISELY 



Tickets, Half-a-Guinea each, to be had of Mr. LiszT, 46, 

Great Marlborough Street, and at all the principal 

Music Shops. 

306 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"Thirteen years elapsed before Liszt again 
favoured us with his presence. He had in the 
meantime passed from boyhood to manhood, 
from having been a prodigy to becoming a ma- 
ture artist. The year was 1840 — an important 
one, as we shall presently see. He appeared, for 
the first time, at the Philharmonic Concert of 
May II, 1840, which was conducted by Sir Henry 
Bishop. Liszt played his own version of Weber's 
Concertstiick in which, according to a contem- 
porary account, 'passages were doubled, tripled, 
inverted, and transmogrified in all sorts of ways.' 
Be this as it may, the Philharmonic Directors 
showed their appreciation of his performance by 
a presentation, an account of which appeared in 
a snappy and short-lived paper called the Musical 
Journal. Here is the extract: 

" 'Liszt has been presented by the Philharmonic 
Society with an elegant silver breakfast service, 
for doing that which would cause every young 
student to receive a severe reprimand — viz., 
thumping and partially destroying two very fine 
pianofortes. The Society has given this to Mr. 
Liszt as a compliment for performing at two of its 
concerts gratuitously! Whenever did they pre- 
sent an Englishman with a silver breakfast service 
for gratuitous performances?' 

"The foregoing is written in the strain which 
characterised the attitude of a section of the 
musical press towards the great pianist. His 
use of the word * Recitals ' appears to have been 
as a red rag to those roaring bulls. The familiar 

307 



FRANZ LISZT 

term owes its origin to Liszt's performances. 
The late Willert Beale records that his father, 
Frederick Beale, invented the designation, and 
that it was much discussed before being finally 
adopted. The advertisement reads thus: 

" * liszt's pianoforte recitals 

" * M. Liszt will give at Two o'clock on Tuesday 
morning, June 9, 1840, recitals on the piano- 
forte of the following works: — No. i. Scherzo 
and Finale from Beethoven's Pastorale Sym- 
phony. No. 2. Serenade, by Schubert. No. 3. 
Ave Maria, by Schubert. No. 4. Hexameron. 
No. 5. Neapolitan Tarentelles. No. 6. Grand 
Galop Chromatique. Tickets los. 6d. each; re- 
served seats, near the Pianoforte, 21s.' 

"The 'Recitals' — the plural form of the term 
will be noticed — took place at the Hanover 
Square Rooms, and the piece entitled Hexa- 
meron (a set of variations on the grand march in 
I Puritani) was the composition of the following 
sextet of pianists: Thalberg, Chopin, Herz, 
Czerny, Pixis, and Liszt, not exactly 'a singular 
production,' as the Musical World remarked, 
but 'an uncommon one.' In connection with 
the 'Recitals,' Mr. Salaman may be quoted: 

" 'I did not hear Liszt again until his visit to 
London in 1840, when he puzzled the musical 
public by announcing "Pianoforte Recitals." 
This now commonly accepted term had never 
previously been used, and people asked, " What 
does he mean? How can any one recite upon 
308 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

the pianoforte?" At these recitals, Liszt, after 
performing a piece set down in his programme, 
would leave the platform, and, descending into 
the body of the room, where the benches were so 
arranged as to allow free locomotion, would move 
about among his auditors and converse with 
his friends, with the gracious condescension of a 
prince, until he felt disposed to return to the 
piano.' 

" The Musical World referred to the * Recitals' 
as 'this curious exhibition'; that the perform- 
ance was 'little short of a miracle'; and that 
the Hexameron contained 'some difficulties of 
inconceivable outrageousness.' Another speci- 
men of critical insight may be quoted — it refers 
to Liszt's participation in a concert given by 
John Parry: 

" 'On being unanimously recalled, he tore the 
National Anthem to ribbons, and thereby fogged 
the glory he had just achieved. Let him eschew 
such hyper-erudite monstrosities — let him stick 
to the 'recital' of sane and sanative music, and 
he will attain a reputation above all contempo- 
rary musical mono-isLctuTeis — and what is more, 
deserve it.' 

"In the autumn of the same year (1840), Liszt 
formed one of a concert-party, organised by 
Lavenu, in a tour in the south of England. The 
party included John Parry, the composer of 
Wanted, a Governess, and the comic man of the 
Lavenu troup. Like Mendelssohn, Liszt seems 
to have taken to the jocose Parry, and he quite 

309 



FRANZ LISZT 

entered into the fun of the fair. For instance, 
at Bath, 'in addition to the pieces announced 
in the bills, Liszt played an accompaniment to 
John Parry's Inchape Bell, sung by the author, in 
which he introduced an extemporaneous storm, 
which had a most terrific effect.' We can well 
believe it. This storm was not 'a local dis- 
turbance,* as meteorologists would say, but it 
followed the party wherever they went, and it was 
doubtless received with thunderous applause. 

"In November, a second and more extended 
tour, also imder Lavenu's auspices, was under- 
taken, and the journey embraced the great pro- 
vincial towns of England, Ireland, and Scotland. 
The preliminary announcement was couched in 
terms more or less pungent: 

" 'Mr. Lavenu with his corps musicale will enter 
the lists again on the 23d instant, when it is to 
be hoped the listless provinces will listen with 
more attention than on his last experiment, or he 
will have enlisted his talented list to very little 
purpose.' 

"Liszt again appeared in London in 1841, and 
took the town by storm. Musical critics of the 
present day may be glad to enlarge their vocab- 
ulary from the following notice, which appeared 
in the columns of the Musical World of sixty 
years ago: 

" 'M. Liszt's Recitals. — We walk through this 

world in the midst of so many wonders, that our 

senses become indifferent to the most amazing 

things: light and life, the ocean, the forest, the 

310 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

voice and flight of the pigmy lark, are unheeded 
commonplaces; and it is only when some comet, 
some giant, some tiger-tamer, some new Niagara, 
some winged being (mental or bodily, and un- 
classed in the science of ornithology) appears, 
that our obdurate faculties are roused into the 
consciousness that miracles do exist. Of the mir- 
acle genus is M. Liszt, the Polyphemus of the 
pianoforte — the Aurora Borealis of musical 
effulgence — the Niagara of thundering harmo- 
nies! His rapidity of execution, his power, his 
delicacy, his Briareus-handed chords, and the ex- 
traordinary volume of sound he wrests from the 
instrument, are each and all philosophies in their 
way that might well puzzle all but a philosopher 
to unriddle and explain.' 

"Shortly before the 'recitals' above referred 
to, Liszt was thrown out of a carriage, and the 
accident resulted in a sprained wrist. At the 
performance, he apologised in French to the 
audience * for his inability to play all the pieces 
advertised.' 

"It is strange, but true, that no less than forty- 
five years had come and gone before Liszt again 
set foot on Albion's shores. In the year t886, 
aged seventy-five, he came again, and charmed 
everybody with the geniality of his presence. 

"It was at the invitation of the late Mr. Henry 
Littleton (then head of the firm of Novello & Co.) 
that Liszt paid his last visit to England in 1886. 
The great pianist arrived on May 3, and remained 
under Mr. Littleton's hospitable roof at West- 

3" 



FRANZ LISZT 

wood House, Sydenham, during the whole of his 
sojourn in this country. The events of those 
seventeen days were a series of triumphs to the 
grand old man of pianists. A command visit 
to Windsor Castle, when he played to Queen 
Victoria; dining with the Prince and Princess 
of Wales at Marlborough House; a visit to the 
Baroness Burdett Coutts; attending perform- 
ances of his oratorio St. Elisabeth (conducted 
by Sir, then Mr. A. C. Mackenzie) at St. James's 
Hall and the Crystal Palace; concerts of Chev. 
Leonard E. Bach; the Royal Amateur Orchestral 
Society (when he was seated next to the king, 
then Prince of Wales) ; Monday Popular; piano- 
forte recitals by Mr. Frederic Lamond and Herr 
Stavenhagen; a visit to the Royal Academy of 
Music; in addition to receptions given by his 
devoted pupil and attached friend, the late 
Walter Bache at the Grosvenor Gallery, and the 
'at homes' of his host and hostess at Westwood 
House. 

"As an indication of the general interest 
aroused by the coming of Liszt, Punch burst 
forth in the following strain: 

" * A Brilliant Variation. — Mr. and Mrs. Lit- 
tleton's reception of the Abbe Franz Liszt, at 
Westwood House, Saturday night last, was an 
event never to be forgotten. But it was not until 
all the Great 'uns had left the Littletons that the 
Greatest of them all sat at the piano in the midst 
of a cosy and select circle, and then, when Mr. 
P-nch had put on his Liszt slippers . . . but to 
312 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

say more were a breach of hospitality. Suffice it 
that on taking up his sharp-and-flat candlestick 
in a perfectly natural manner the Abbe, embrac- 
ing Mr. P-nch, sobbed out, " This is the Abb^'ist 
evening I've ever had. Au plaisir!" — {Extract 
from a Distinguished Guest's Diary. Privately 
communicated.)' 

"Although he was in his seventy-sixth year at 
the time of this, his last sojourn in England, his 
pianoforte technic astonished those who were 
capable to form an opinion, and who were amazed 
that he did not 'smash the pianoforte, like his 
pupils!' He was immensely gratified at his 
visit, and in parting with Mr. Alfred and Mr. 
Augustus Littleton, at Calais, he said: *If I 
should live two years longer I will certainly visit 
England again!' But alas! a little more than 
three months after he had said 'Good-bye' to 
these friends, Franz Liszt closed his long, event- 
ful, and truly artistic career at Bayreuth on 
July 31, 1886. Professor Niecks said, 'Liszt 
has lived a noble life. Let us honour his mem- 
ory.' " 

EDVARD GRIEG 

Grieg himself played his piano concerto at a 
Leipsic Gewandhaus concert in 1879, but it had 
already been heard in the same hall as early as 
February 22, 1872, when Miss Erika Lie played 
it, and the work was announced as new and " in 
manuscript." Before this time Grieg had shown 

3^3 



FRANZ LISZT 

the concerto to Liszt. The story is told in a let- 
ter of Grieg quoted in Henry T. Finck's biog- 
raphy of the composer: 

"I had fortunately just received the manu- 
script of my pianoforte concerto from Leipsic, 
and took it with me. Besides myself there were 
present Winding, Sgambati, and a German Liszt- 
ite whose name I do not know, but who goes so 
far in the aping of his idol that he even wears 
the gown of an abbe; add to these a Chevalier 
de Concilium and some young ladies of the kind 
that would like to eat Liszt, skin, hair, and all, 
their adulation is simply comical. . . . Winding 
and I were very anxious to see if he would really 
play my concerto at sight. I, for my part, con- 
sidered it impossible; not so Liszt. 'Will you 
play?' he asked, and I made haste to reply: 
'No, I cannot' (you know I have never practised 
it). Then Liszt took the manuscript, went to 
the piano, and said to the assembled guests, with 
his characteristic smile, 'Very well, then, I will 
show you that I also cannot.' With that he be- 
gan. I admit that he took the first part of the 
concerto too fast, and the beginning consequently 
sounded helter-skelter; but later on, when I had 
a chance to indicate the tempo, he played as only 
he can play. It is significant that he played the 
cadenza, the most difficult part, best of all. His 
demeanour is worth any price to see. Not con- 
tent with playing, he at the same time converses 
and makes comments, addressing a bright re- 
mark now to one, now to another of the as- 

314 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

sembled guests, nodding significantly to the right 
or left, particularly when something pleases him. 
In the adagio, and still more in the finale, he 
reached a climax both as to his playing and the 
praise he had to bestow. 

"A really divine episode I must not forget. 
Toward the end of the finale the second theme is, 
as you may remember, repeated in a mighty for- 
tissimo. In the very last measures, when in the 
first triplets the first tone is changed in the or- 
chestra from G sharp to G, while the pianoforte, 
in a mighty scale passage, rushes wildly through 
the whole reach of the keyboard, he suddenly 
stopped, rose up to his full height, left the piano, 
and, with big theatric strides and arms uplifted, 
walked across the large cloister hall, at the same 
time literally roaring the theme. When he got 
to the G in question, he stretched out his arms 
imperiously and exclaimed: * G, G, not G sharp! 
Splendid! That is the real Swedish Banko!' to 
which he added very softly, as in a parenthesis: 
' Smetana sent me a sample the other day.' He 
went back to the piano, repeated the whole 
strophe, and finished. In conclusion, he handed 
me the manuscript and said, in a peculiarly cor- 
dial tone: 'Fahren Sie fort; ich sage Ihnen, Sie 
haben das Zeug dazu, und — lassen Sie sich 
nicht abschrecken ! ' ('Keep steadily on; I tell 
you, you have the capability, and — do not let 
them intimidate you!') 

"This final admonition was of tremendous im- 
portance to me; there was something in it that 

315 



FRANZ LISZT 

seemed to give it an air of sanctification. At 
times when disappointment and bitterness are 
in store for me, I shall recall his words, and the 
remembrance of that hour will have a wonderful 
power to uphold me in days of adversity." 

RICHARD HOFFMAN'S RECOLLECTIONS 

"I think it was in 1840 or 1841, in Manchester, 
that I first heard Liszt, then a young man of 
twenty-eight," wrote the late Richard Hoffman 
in Scrihnefs Magazine. "At that time he 
played only bravura piano compositions, such as 
the Hexameron and Hungarian March of Schu- 
bert, in C minor, arranged by himself. I recol- 
lect his curious appearance, his tall, lank figure, 
buttoned up in a frock coat, very much em- 
broidered with braid, and his long, light hair 
brushed straight down below his collar. He was 
not at that time a general favourite in England, 
and I remember that on this occasion there was 
rather a poor house. A criticism of this concert 
which I have preserved from the Manchester 
Morning Post will give an idea of his wonder- 
ful playing. After some introduction it goes on 
to say: 'He played with velocity and impetuosity 
indescribable, and yet with a facile grace and 
pliancy that made his efforts seem rather like the 
flight of thought than the result of mechanical 
exertion, thus investing his execution with a char- 
acter more mental than physical, and making 
genius give elevation to art. One of the most 
316 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

electrifying points of his performance was the 
introduction of a sequence of thirds in scales, 
descending with unexampled rapidity; and an- 
other, the volume of tone which he rolled forth 
in the execution of a double shake. The rapture 
of the audience knew no bounds,' etc. I fancied 
I saw the piano shake and tremble under the 
force of his blows in the Hungarian March. I 
regret that I never had an opportunity of hear- 
ing him later in life, when I am sure I should 
have had more pleasure both in his playing and 
his programmes. He had appeared some sixteen 
years before in Manchester, in 1824, as a youth- 
ful phenomenon, in an engagement made for 
him by Mr. Andrew Ward, my father's partner. 
He stayed at his house while there, as the follow- 
ing letter specifies; both letters form part of a 
correspondence between Mr. Ward and the elder 
Liszt on this matter. 

" 'London, July 29, 1824. 

" 'Dear Sir: In answer to your letter of the 
27 th inst. I beg to inform you that I wish my Son 
to play as follows: viz: — At the first concert, a 
grand Concerto for the Piano Forte with orches- 
tral accompaniment composed by Hummel, and 
the Fall of Paris also with grand orchestral ac- 
companiment composed by Moscheles. 

"'At the 2d Concert — Variations with or- 
chestral accompaniments composed by Charles 
Czerni, and afterwards an Extempore Fantasia 
on a written Thema which Master Liszt will re- 

317 



FRANZ LISZT 

spectfully request any person of the Company to 
give him. 

" 'We intend to start to-morrow afternoon at 
three o'clock by the Telegraph Coach from the 
White Horse Fetter lane, and as we are entire 
strangers to Manchester it will be very agreeable 
to us if you will send some one to meet us. 

" *M. Erard's pianoforte will be in your town 
on Sunday morning as I shall be glad for my son 
to play upon that instrument. 

" *I remain, Dear Sir, 

" 'Yr. very humble Servant, 

" 'Liszt.* 

" ' 15 Gt. Marlborough Street, 
" ^ July 22, 1824. 

" 'Mr. Liszt presents his compliments to Mr. 
Roe and begs to say, that the terms upon which 
he will take his son to Manchester to play at the 
concerts of the second and fourth of August next 
will be as follows: 

" ' Mr. Liszt is to receive one hundred pounds 
and be provided with board and lodgings in Mr. 
Ward's house during his stay in Manchester for 
his son and himself, and Mr. Liszt will pay the 
travelling expenses to and from Manchester.' " 



318 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

HENRY REEVES 

In Henry Reeves's biography I found this about 
Liszt: 

"Liszt had already played a great fantasia of 
his own, and Beethoven's Twenty-seventh Sonata 
in the former part of the concert. After this lat- 
ter piece he gasped with emotion as I took his 
hand and thanked him for the divine energy he 
had shed forth. At last I managed to pierce the 
crowd, and I sat in the orchestra before the 
Duchesse de Rauzan's box, talking to her Grace 
and Madame de Circourt, who was there. My 
chair was on the same board as Liszt's piano 
when the final piece began. It was a duet for 
two instruments, beginning with Mendelssohn's 
Chants sans Paroles and proceeding to a work 
of Liszt's. We had already passed that delicious 
chime of the Song Written in a Gondola, and the 
gay tendrils of sound in another lighter piece, 
which always reminded me of an Italian vine, 
when Mrs. Handley played it to us. As the clos- 
ing strains began I saw Liszt's countenance as- 
sume that agony of expression, mingled with ra- 
diant smiles of joy, which I never saw in any other 
human face except in the paintings of our Saviour 
by some of the early masters; his hands rushed 
over the keys, the floor on which I sat shook like 
a wire, and the whole audience were wrapped in 
sound, when the hand and frame of the artist 
gave way. He fainted in the arms of the friend 
who was turning over for him, and we bore him 

319 



FRANZ LISZT 

out in a strong fit of hysterics. The effect of this 
scene was really dreadful. The whole room sat 
breathless with fear, till Hiller came forward and 
announced that Liszt was already restored to 
consciousness and was comparatively well again. 
As I handed Madame de Circourt to her carriage 
we both trembled like poplar leaves, and I 
tremble scarcely less as I write." 

LISZT'S CONVERSION 

"Have you read the story of Liszt's conversion 
as told by Emile Bergerat in Le Livre de Cali- 
ban?" asks Philip Hale. "I do not remember 
to have seen it in EngHsh, and in the dearth of 
musical news the story may amuse. I shall not 
attempt to translate it literally, or even English 
it with a watchful eye on Bergerat's individual- 
ity. This is a paraphrase, not even a pale, 
literal translation of a brilliant original. 

The Conversion 

OF 

The Abbe Liszt 

"And so he will not play any more. 

"Well, a pianist cannot keep on playing forever, 
and if Liszt had not promised to stop, the Pope 
would never have pardoned him — no, never. 
For the pianist turned priest because he was re- 
morseful, horror-stricken at the thought of his 
abuse of the piano. His conversion is a matter of 

320 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

history. When one takes Orders, he swears to 
renounce Satan, his gauds and his works — that 
is to say, the piano. 

"If he should play he'd be a renegade. Of 
course he longs to touch the keys. His daddy- 
long-legs-fingers itch, and he doesn't know what 
to do with them. But an apostate? Perish the 
thought! And apostasy grins at him; lurks in 
the metronome with its flicflac. Here's what I 
call a dramatic situation. 

" Wretched Ahh6 ! Never more will you smash 
white or black keys; never more will you dance 
on the angry pedals; O never, never more! Do 
you not hear the croaking of Poe's raven? 
Never again, O Father, will you tire the rose- 
wood! Good-bye to tumbling scales and pyro- 
technical arpeggios! Thus must you do pen- 
ance. The president of the Immortals does not 
love piano playing. He scowls on pianists. He 
condemns them to thump throughout eternity. 
In Dante's hell there is a dumb piano, and Luci- 
fer sees to it that they practice without ceasing. 

"I am naturally tender-hearted, but I approve 
of this eternal punishment. 

"Yes, Father Liszt, because the piano is not in 
the scheme of Nature. Even in Society the fewer 
the pianos the greater the merriment. If the 
piano were really a thing in Nature the good Lord 
would have taken at least ten minutes of the 
seven days and designed a model. But the piano 
never occurred to Him. Now, as everything, 
existing or to exist, was foreseen by him, and a 
321 



FRANZ LISZT 

part of Him (that is, according to the dogma) , I 
am inclined to think He was afraid of the piano. 
He recoiled at the responsibility of creating it. 
And yet the machine exists! 

"A syllogism leads us to declare that the piano 
is an after-thought. Of whom ? Why, Satan of 
course. A grim joke of Satan. The piano is the 
enemy of man. Liszt finally discovered this, 
though he was just a little late. So he will only 
go to Purgatory, and in Purgatory there are no 
dumb pianos. But there are organs without 
pipes, without bellows, and many have pulled 
the stops in vain for centuries. I earnestly be- 
seech you, my Father, to accumulate indul- 
gences. 

"They tell many stories about the conversions 
of Abbd Liszt, and how he found out that the 
piano is the enemy of humanity. Lo, here is the 
truth. He once gave a concert in a town where 
there were many dogs. He was then exceedingly 
absent-minded; he mistook the date and ap- 
peared the night before. Extraordinary to relate, 
there was no one in the hall, although the con- 
cert was announced for the next day! Liszt sat 
down nevertheless, and played for his own amuse- 
ment. The efiFect was prodigious, as George 
Sand told us in her Lettres d'un Voyageur. The 
dogs ran to the noise — curs, water spaniels, 
poodles, greyhounds — all the dogs, including 
the yellow outcast. They all howled fearfully, 
and they would fain have fleshed their teeth in 
the pianist. 

322 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

"Then Liszt reasoned — in his fashion: ' Since 
the dog is the friend of man, if he abominates the 
piano it is because his instinct tells him, " the pi- 
ano is my friend's enemy!'" Professor Jevons 
might not have approved the conclusion, but 
Liszt saw no flaw. 

"And then a sculptor wished to make a statue 
of Liszt. He hewed him as he sat before a piano, 
and he included the instrument. It was nat- 
urally a grand piano, one lent by Madame Erard 
expressly for the occasion. Liszt went to the 
studio, saw the clay, and turned green. 

" 'Where did you get such a ghastly idea?' he 
asked, and his voice trembled. *You represent 
me as playing a music coflSn.* 

" * What's that ? I have copied nature. Is not 
the shape exact?' 

" * Horribly,' said Liszt. * And thus, thus shall 
I appear to posterity! I shall be seen hanging 
by my nails to this funereal box, a virtuoso, fero- 
cious, with dishevelled hair, raising the dead and 
digging a grave at the same time I The idea puts 
me in a cold sweat!' 

"The sculptor smiled. *I can substitute an 
upright.' 

" ' Then I should seem to be scratching a mum- 
my case. They would take me for an Egyptol- 
ogist at his sacrilegious work.' 

"Homeward he fled. In his own room he ar- 
ranged the mirrors so that he could see himself 
in all positions while he was plying his hellish 
trade. And then salvation came to him. He 

323 



FRANZ LISZT 

saw that the machine was demoniacal, that it re- 
called nothing in the fauna or the flora of the good 
Lord, that the sculptor was right, that the piano 
had the appearance of the sure box, in which 
occurs vague metempsychosis, that is if the box 
only had a jaw. He was horror-stricken at his 
past life. Frightened, his soul tormented by 
doubt, it seemed to him that from under the 
eighty-five molars, which he snatched hurriedly 
from the shrieking piano, Astaroth darted his 
tongue. He ran to Rome and threw himself at 
the Pope's feet, imploring exorcism. 

"The confession lasted three days and three 
nights. The possessed could not get to an end. 
There were crimes which the Pope himself knew 
nothing about, which he had never heard men- 
tioned, professional crimes, crimes peculiar to 
pianists, horrid crimes in keys natural and un- 
natural! This confession is still celebrated. 

" 'Holy Father,' cried the wretch, 'you do not, 
you cannot know everything! There are pian- 
ists and pianists. You believe that the piano, 
as diabolical as it is, whether it be a Pleyel or an 
Erard, cannot give out more noise than it holds. 
You believe that he who makes it exhibit in full 
its terrible proportions is the strongest, and that 
piano playing has human limitations. Alas, 
alas! You say to yourself when in an apart- 
ment house of seven stories the seven tenants give 
notice simultaneously to the trembling landlord, 
it makes no difference whether the cause of the 
desperate flight is named Saint-Saens, Pugno or 

324 



MIRRORED BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES 

Chabrier. The tenants run because the piano 
gives forth all that is inside of it, and the inani- 
mate is acutely animate. How Your Holiness is 
deceived. There's a still lower depth!' 

"Liszt smote his breast thrice, and continued: 
'I know a man (or is it indeed a human being?) 
who never quitted the sonorous coffin until the 
entire street in which he raged had emigrated. 
And yet he had only ten fingers on his hands, as 
you and I, and never did he use his toes. This 
monster, Holy Father, is at your feet ! ' 

"Pius IX shivered with fright. *Go on, my 
son, the mercy of God is unbounded.' 

"Then Liszt accused himself: 

"Of having by Sabbatic concerts driven the 
half of civilised Europe mad, while the other 
half returned to Chopin and Thalberg. 

"('There's Rubinstein,' said Pius, and he 
smiled.) Liszt pretended not to hear him, and 
he continued: 

" ' My Father, I have encouraged the trade in 
shrill mahogany, noisy rosewood and shrieking 
ebony in the five parts of the acoustic world, so 
that at this very moment there is not a single 
ajoupa or a single thatched hut among savages 
that is without a piano. Even wild men are be- 
ginning to manufacture pianos, and they give 
them as wedding gifts to their daughters.' 

"('Just as it is in Europe,' said the Pope.) 

"'And also,' added Liszt, 'with instructions 
how to use them. Mea culpa!' 

"Then he confessed that apes unable to scram- 

325 



FRANZ LISZT 

ble through a scale were rare in virgin forests; 
that travellers told of elephants who played with 
their trunks the Carnival of Venice variations; 
and it was he, Franz Liszt, that had served them 
as a model. The plague of universal " pianisme " 
had spread from pole to pole. Mea culpa ! Mea 
culpa! 

" Overcome with shame, he wished to finish his 
confession at the piano. But Pius IX had antic- 
ipated him. There was no piano in the Vatican. 
In all Christendom, the Pope was the only one 
without a boxed harp. 

"'Ah! you are indeed the Pope!' cried Liszt 
as he knelt before him. 

"A little after this Liszt took Orders. They 
that speak without intelligence started the ru- 
mour that it was at La Trappe. But at La 
Trappe there is a piano, and Liszt swore to the 
Holy Father that he would never touch one. 

"To-day the world breathes freely. The mon- 
ster has been disarmed and exorcised. 

"Now when Liszt sees a piano he approaches it 
with curiosity and asks the use of that singular 
article of furniture. 

"It is true there's one in his room, but he keeps 
his cassocks in it" 



326 



VII 

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 
I 

WEIMAR 

After rambling over Weimar and burrowing 
in the Liszt museum, one feels tempted to pro- 
nounce Liszt the happiest of composers, as Yeats 
calls William Morris the happiest poet. A career 
without parallel, a victorious general at the head 
of his ivory army; a lodestone for men and 
women; a poet, diplomat, ecclesiastic, man of the 
world, with the sunny nature of a child, loved by 
all, envious of no one — surely the fates forgot 
to spin evil threads at the cradle of Franz Liszt. 
And he was not a happy man for all that. 
He, too, like Friedrich Nietzsche had daemonic 
fantasy; but for him it was a gift, for the other a 
curse. Music is a liberation, and Nietzsche of 
all men would have benefited by its healing pow- 
ers. 

In Weimar Liszt walked and talked, smoked 
strong cigars, played, prayed — for he never 
missed early mass — and composed. His old 
housekeeper, Frau Pauline Apel, still a hale 
woman, shows, with loving care, the memorials 

327 



FRANZ LISZT 

in the little museum on the first floor of the Wohn- 
haus, which stands in the gardens of the beauti- 
ful ducal park. 

Here Goethe and Schiller once promenaded in 
a company that has become historic. And can- 
not Weimar lay claim to a Tannhauser perform- 
ance as early as 1849, the Lohengrin production 
in 1850, and the Flying Dutchman in 1853 ? What 
a collection of musical manuscripts, trophies, 
jewels, pictures, orders, letters — I saw one from 
Charles Baudelaire to Liszt — and testimonials 
from all over the globe, which accumulated du- 
ring the career of this extraordinary man! 

The Steinway grand pianoforte, once so dearly 
prized by the master, has been taken away to 
make room for the many cases containing pre- 
cious gifts from sovereigns, the scores of the 
Christus, Faust Symphony, Orpheus, Hungaria, 
Berg Symphony, Totentanz, and Festklange. But 
the old instrument upon which he played years 
ago still stands in one of the rooms. Marble 
casts of Liszt's, Beethoven's, and Chopin's hands 
are on view; also Liszt's hand firmly clasping the 
slender fingers of the Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein. 
Like Chopin, Liszt attracted princesses as sugar 
buzzing flies. 

There is a new Weimar — not so wonderful 
as the two old Weimars — the Weimar of Anna 
Amalia and Karl August, of Goethe, Wieland, 
Herder, and Schiller, Johanna Schopenhauer 
and her sullen son Arthur, the pessimistic phi- 
328 




Pauline Apel 

Liszt's housekeeper at Weiinar 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

losopher — and not the old Weimar of Franz 
Liszt and his brilliant cohort of disciples; never- 
theless, a new Weimar, its intellectual rallying- 
point the home of Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche, 
the tiny and lovable sister of the great dead poet- 
philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. 

To drift into this delightful Thuringian town; 
to stop at some curious old inn with an eighteenth 
century name like the Hotel Zum Elephant; to 
walk slowly under the trees of the ducal park, 
catching on one side a glimpse of Goethe's garden 
house, on the other Liszt's summer home, where 
gathered the most renowned musicians of the 
globe — these and many other sights and rem- 
iniscences will interest the passionate pilgrim — 
interest and thrill. If he be bent upon exploring 
the past glories of the Goethe regime there are 
bountiful opportunities; the Goethe residence, 
the superb Goethe and Schiller archives, the 
ducal library, the garden house, the Belvidere 
— here we may retrace all the steps of that noble, 
calm Greek existence from robust young man- 
hood to the very chamber wherein the octoge- 
narian uttered his last cry of "More light!" a cry 
that not only symbolised his entire career, but has 
served since as a watchword for poetry, science, 
and philosophy. 

If you are musical, is there not the venerable 
opera-house wherein more than a half century 
ago Lohengrin, thanks to the incredible friend- 
ship and labour of Franz Liszt, was first given 
a hearing ? And this same opera-house — now no 

329 



FRANZ LISZT 

more — is a theatre that fairly exhales memories 
of historic performances and unique dramatic 
artists. Once Goethe resigned because against 
his earnest protest a performing dog was allowed 
to appear upon the classic boards which first saw 
the masterpieces of Goethe and Schiller. 

But the new Weimar! During the last decade 
whether the spot has a renewed fascination for 
the artistic Germans or because of its increased 
commercial activities, Weimar has worn another 
and a brighter face. The young Grand Duke 
Ernst, while never displaying a marked prefer- 
ence for intellectual pursuits, is a liberal ruler, 
as befits his blood. 

Great impetus has been given to manufactur- 
ing interests, and the city is near enough to Ber- 
lin to benefit by both its distance and proximity. 
Naturally, the older and conservative inhabitants 
are horrified by the swift invasion of unsightly 
chimneys, of country disappearing before the 
steady encroachment of railroads, mills, foun- 
dries, and other unpicturesque but very useful 
buildings. And the country about Weimar is 
famed for its picturesque quality — Jena, Tie- 
furt. Upper Weimar, Erfurt, museums, castles, 
monuments, belvideres, wayside inns, wonderful 
roads overhung by great aged trees. But other 
days, other ways. 

Weimar has awakened and is no longer proud 
to figure merely as a museum of antiquities. 
With this material growth there has arisen a fresh 
movement in the stagnant waters of poetic and 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

artistic memories — new ideas, new faces, new 
paths, new names. It is a useless, though not 
altogether an unpleasant theme, to speculate 
upon the different Weimar we would behold if 
Richard Wagner's original plan had been put 
into execution as to the location of his theatre. 
Most certainly Bayreuth would be a much duller 
town than it is to-day — and that is saying much. 
But emburgessed prejudices were too much for 
Wagner, and a stuffy Bavarian village won his 
preference, thereby becoming historical. 

However, Weimar is not abashed or cast down. 
A cluster of history-making names are hers, and 
who knows, fifty years hence she may be proud 
to recall the days when one Richard Strauss was 
her local Kapellmeister and that within her 
municipal precincts died a great poetic soul, the 
optimistic philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. 

Now, Weimar is the residence and the resort 
of a brilliant group of poets, dramatists, novel- 
ists, musicians, painters, sculptors, and actors. 
Professor Hans Olde, who presides over the im- 
posing art galleries and art school, has gathered 
about him an enthusiastic host of young painters 
and art students. 

There have been recently two notable exhi- 
bitions, respectively devoted to the works of the 
sculptor-painter. Max Klinger, and the French 
sculptor, Auguste Rodin. Nor is the new ar- 
tistic leaven confined to the plastic arts. Ernst 
von Wildenbruch, a world-known novelist and 
dramatist (since dead) ; Baron Detlev von Lilien- 

33^ 



FRANZ LISZT 

cron, one of Germany's most gifted lyric poets; 
Richard Dehmel, a poet of the revolutionary 
order, whose work favourably compares with the 
productions of the Parisian symbolists; Paul 
Ernst, poet; Johannes Schlaf, who a few years 
ago with Arno Holz blazoned the way in Berlin 
for Gerhart Hauptmann and the young realists 

— Schlaf is the author of several powerful novels 
and plays; Count Kessler, a cultured and ardent 
patron of the fine arts and literature, and Profes- 
sor van de Velde, whose influence on architecture 
and the industrial arts has been great, and the 
American painter Gari Melchers, are all in the 
Weimar circle. 

In the summer Conrad Ansorge, a man not 
unknown to the New York musical public, gath- 
ers around him in pious imitation of his former 
master, Liszt, a class of ambitious pianists. A 
former resident of New York, Max Vogrich, 
pianist and composer, has taken up his resi- 
dence at Weimar. In its opera-house, which 
boasts an excellent company of singers, actors, 
and a good orchestra, the premiere of Vogrich's 
opera Buddha occurred in 1903. Gordon Craig, 
the son of Ellen Terry, often visits the city, where 
his scheme for the technical reform of the stage 

— lighting, scenery, costumes, and colours — 
was eagerly appreciated, as it was in Berlin, by 
Otto Brahm, director of the Lessing Theatre. 
Mr. Craig is looked upon as an advanced spirit 
in Germany. I wish I could praise without crit- 
ical reservation the two new statues of Shake- 

332 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

speare and Liszt which stand in the park; but 
neither one is of consummate workmanship or 
conception. 

When I received the amiable "command" of 
Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche, bidding me call 
at a fixed hour on a certain day, I was quite con- 
scious of the honour; only the true believers set 
foot within that artistic and altogether charming 
Mecca at the top of the Luisenstrasse. 

The lofty and richly decorated room where re- 
pose the precious mementos of the dead thinker 
is a singularly attractive one — it is a true abode 
of culture. Here Nietzsche died in 1900; here 
he was wheeled out upon the adjacent balcony, 
from which he had a surprising view of the hilly 
and delectable countryside. 

His sister and devoted biographer is a comely 
little lady, vivacious, intellectual, bright of cheek 
and eye, a creature of fire and enthusiasm, more 
Gallic than German. I could well believe in the 
legend of the Polish Nietzskys, from whom the 
philosopher claimed descent, after listening to 
her spirited discussion of matters that pertained 
to her dead brother. His memory with her is an 
abidingly beautiful one. She says "my poor 
brother" with the accents of one speaking of the 
vanished gods. 

His sister showed me all her treasures — many 
manuscripts of early and still unpublished stud- 
ies; his original music, for he composed much 
during his intimacy with Richard Wagner; the 
grand pianoforte with which he soothed his tor- 

333 



FRANZ LISZT 

tured nerves; the stately bust executed by Max 
Klinger; the painful portrait etched by Hans 
Olde, and many other souvenirs. 

Mrs. Foerster-Nietzsche, who once lived in 
South America — she speaks English, French, 
and Italian fluently — assured me that she sin- 
cerely regretted the premature publication in 
English of The Case of the Wagner. This book, 
so terribly personal, is a record of the disenchant- 
ing experiences of a shattered friendship. 

Madame Foerster spoke most feelingly of Cos- 
ima Wagner and deplored the rupture of their in- 
timate relations. " A marvellous woman ! a fas- 
cinating woman!" she said several times. What 
with her correspondence in every land, the publi- 
cation of the bulky biography and the constant 
editing of unpublished essays, letters and memo- 
rabilia, this rare sister of a great man is, so it 
seems to me, overtaxing her energies. The Niet- 
zsche bibliography has assumed formidable pro- 
portions, yet she is conversant with all of it. A 
second Henrietta Renan, I thought, as I took a 
regretful leave of this very remarkable woman, 
not daring to ask her when Nietzsche's unpub- 
lished autobiography, Ecce Homo, would be given 
to the world. (This was written in 1904; Ecce 
Homo has appeared in the meantime.) 

Later, down in the low-ceilinged cafd of the 
Hotel zum Elephant, I overheard a group of cit- 
izens, ofl&cers, merchants — all cronies — discuss- 
ing Weimar. Nietzsche's name was mentioned, 
and one knight of this round table — a gigantic 

334 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

officer with a button head — contemptuously ex- 
claimed: — "Nietzsche Rauch!" (smoke). Yes, 
but what a world-compelling vapour is his that 
now winds in fantastic spirals over the romantic 
hills and valleys of the new Weimar and thence 
about the entire civilised globe ! Friedrich Nietz- 
sche, because of his fiery poetic spirit and ecstatic 
pantheism, might be called the Percy Bysshe 
Shelley of philosophers. 

II 

BUDAPEST 

My first evening in Budapest was a cascade 
of surprises. The ride down from Vienna is not 
cheery until the cathedral and palace of the pri- 
mate is reached, at Gran, a superb edifice, chal- 
lenging the valley of the Danube. Interminable 
prairies, recalling the traits of our Western coun- 
try, swam around the busy little train until this 
residence of the spiritual lord of Hungary was 
passed. After that the scenery as far as Orsova, 
Belgrade, and the Iron Gates is legendary in its 
beauty. 

To hear the real Hungarian gipsy on his own 
heath has been long my ambition. In New York 
he is often a domesticated fowl, with ahens in his 
company. But in Budapest! My hopes were 
high. The combination of that peppery food, 
paprika gulyas, was also an item not to be over- 
looked. I soon found an establishment where 

335 



FRANZ LISZT 

the music is the best in Hungary, the cooking of 
the hottest. After the usual distracting tuning 
the band splashed into a fierce prelude. 

Fancy coming thousands of miles to hear the 
original of all the cakewalks and eat a prepara- 
tion that might have been turned out from a 
Mexican restaurant! It was too much. It took 
exactly four Czardas and the Rakoczy march to 
convince me that I was not dreaming of Man- 
hattan Beach. 

But this particular band was excellent. Find- 
ing that some of the listeners only wished for 
gipsy music, the leader played the most frantically 
bacchanalian in his repertory. Not more than 
eight men made up the ensemble ! And such an 
ensemble. It seemed to be the ideal definition 
of anarchy — unity in variety. Not even a Rich- 
ard Strauss score gives the idea of vertical and 
horizontal music — heard at every point of the 
compass, issuing from the bowels of the earth, 
pouring down upon one's head like a Tyrolean 
thunderstorm. Every voice was independent, 
and syncopated as were the rhythms. There 
was no raggedness in attack or cessation. 

Like a streak of jagged, blistering lightning, 
a tone would dart from the double bass to the 
very scroll of the fiddles. In mad pursuit, over 
a country black as Servian politics went the cym- 
balom, closely followed by two clarinets — in B 
and E flat. The treble pipe was played by a 
jeweller in disguise — he must have been a jew- 
eller, so fond was he of ornamentation and catar- 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

acts of pearly tones. He made a trelliswork be- 
hind which he attacked his foes, the string players. 
In the midst of all this melodic chaos the leader, 
cradling his fiddle like something alive, swayed 
as sways a tall tree in the gale. Then he left the 
podium and hat in hand collected white pieces 
and kronen. It was disenchanting. 

The tone of the band was more resilient, more 
brilliant than the bands we hear in America. 
And there were more heart, fire, swing and dash 
in their playing. The sapping melancholy of 
the Lassan and the diabolic vigour of the Friska 
are things that I shall never forget. These gip- 
sies have an instinctive sense of tempo. Their 
allegretto is a genuine allegretto. They play rag- 
time music with true rhythmic appreciation for 
the reason that its metrical structure is grateful 
to them. 

In Paris the Cakewalk is a thing of misunder- 
stood, misapplied accents. The Budapest ver- 
sion of the Rakoczy march is a revelation. No 
wonder Berlioz borrowed it. The tempo is a 
wild quickstep; there is no majestic breadth, so 
suggestive of military pomp or the grandeur of a 
warlike race. Instead, the music defiled by in 
crazy squads, men breathlessly clinging to the 
saddles of their maddened steeds; above them 
hung the haze of battle, and the hoarse shouting 
of the warriors was heard. Five minutes more 
of this excitement and heart disease might have 
supervened. Five minutes later I saw the band 
grinning over their tips, drinking and looking ab- 

337 



FRANZ LISZT 

solutely incapable of ever playing such stirring 
and hyperbolical music. 

After these winged enchantments I was glad 
enough to wander next morning in the Hungarian 
Museum, following the history of this proud and 
glorious nation, in its armour, its weapons, its 
trophies of war and its banners captured from the 
Saracen. Such mementos re-create a race. In 
the picture gallery, a modest one, there are some 
interesting Munkaczys and several Makarts; also 
many specimens of Hungarian art by Kovacs, 
Zichy (a member of a noble and talented fam- 
ily), Szekely, and Michael Zichy's cartoon illus- 
trations to Mddach's The Tragedy of Mankind. 

Munkaczy's portrait of Franz Liszt is muddy 
and bituminous. Two original aquarelles by 
Dor^ were presented by Liszt. I was surprised 
to find in the modern Saal the Sphynx of Franz 
Stuck, a sensational and gruesome canvas, which 
made a stir at the time of first hanging in the 
Munich Secession exhibition. Budapest pur- 
chased it; also a very characteristic Segantini, 
an excellent Otto Sinding, and Hans Makart's 
Dejanira. A beautiful marble of Rodin's marks 
the progressive taste of this artistic capital. 

It would seem that even for a municipality of 
New York's magnitude the erection of such a 
Hall of Justice and such a Parliament building 
would be a tax beyond its purse. Budapest is 
not a rich city, but these two public buildings, 
veritable palaces, gorgeously decorated, proclaim 
her as a highly civilised centre. The opera- 

33^ 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

house, which seats only i,ioo, is the most per- 
fectly appointed in the world; its stage appar- 
atus is better than Bayreuth's. And the natural 
position of the place is unique. From the ram- 
parts of the royal palace in Buda — old Ofen 
— your eye, promise-crammed, sweeps a series 
of fascinating facades, churches, palaces, gener- 
ous embankments, while between its walls the 
Danube flows torrentially down to the mysteri- 
ous lands where murder is admired and thrones 
are playthings. 

In the Liszt museum is the old, bucolic pianino 
upon which his childish hands first rested at Raid- 
ing (Dobrjan), his birthplace. His baton; the 
cast of his hand and of Chopin's and the famous 
piano of Beethoven, at which most of the im- 
mortal sonatas were composed, and upon which 
Liszt Ferencz played for the great composer 
shortly before his death in 1827. The little piano 
has no string, but the Beethoven — a Broadwood 
& Sons, Golden Square, London, so the fall- 
board reads — is full of jangling wires, the keys 
black with age. Liszt presented it to his country- 
men — he greatly loved Budapest and taught 
several months every winter at the Academy of 
Music in the spacious Andrassy strasse. 

A harp, said to have been the instrument most 
affected by Marie Antoinette, did not give me the 
thrill historic which all right-minded Yankees 
should experience in strange lands. I would 
rather see a real live tornado in Kansas than 
shake hands with the ghost of Napoleon. 

339 



FRANZ LISZT 

III 
ROME 

The pianoforte virtuoso, Richard Burmeister, 
and one of Liszt's genuine "pet" pupils, advised 
me to look at Liszt's hotel in the Vicolo Alibert, 
Rome. It is still there, an old-fashioned place, 
Hotel Alibert, up an alley-like street off the Via 
Babuino, near the Piazza del Popolo. But it is 
shorn of its interest for melomaniacs, as the view 
commanding the Pincio no longer exists. One 
night sufficed me, though the manager smilingly 
assured me that he could show the room wherein 
Liszt slept and studied. A big warehouse blocks 
the outlook on the Pincio ; indeed the part of the 
hotel Liszt inhabited no longer stands. But at 
Tivoli, at the Villa d'Este, with its glorious vistas 
of the Campagna and Rome, there surely would 
be memories of the master. The Sunday I took 
the steam-tramway was a threatening one; be- 
fore Bagni was reached a solid sheet of water 
poured from an implacable leaden sky. It was 
not a cheerful prospect for a Liszt-hunter. Ar- 
rived at Tivoli, I waited in the Caffe d'ltalia 
hoping for better weather. An old grand piano- 
forte, the veriest rattletrap stood in the eating 
salle; but upon its keys had rested many times 
the magic-breeding fingers of Liszt. Often, with 
a band of students or with guests he would walk 
down from the villa and while waiting for their 

340 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

carriages he would jestingly sweep the keyboard. 
At the Villa d'Este itself the cypresses, cascades, 
terraces, and mysterious avenues of green were 
enveloped in a hopeless fog. It was the mistiest 
spot I ever visited. Heaven and earth, seemingly, 
met in fluid embrace to give me a watery wel- 
come. Where was Liszt's abode is a Marianite 
convent. I was not permitted to visit his old 
room which is now the superior's. It was at the 
top of the old building, for wherever Liszt lived 
he enjoyed a vast landscape. I could discover 
but one person who remembered the Abbate; the 
concierge. And his memories were scanty. I 
wandered disconsolately through the rain, my 
mood splenetic. So much for fame. I bitterly 
reflected in the melancholy, weedy, moss-in- 
fested walks of the garden. 

As I attempted to point out to our little party 
the particular window from which Liszt saw the 
miraculous Italian world, I stepped on a slimy 
green rock and stretched my length in the humid 
mud. There was a deep, a respectful silence as 
I was helped to my feet — the gravity of the sur- 
roundings, the solemnity of our recollections 
choked all levity; though I saw signs of im- 
pending apoplexy on several faces. To relieve 
the strain I sternly bade our guide retire to an 
adjacent bosky retreat and there roar to his 
heart's content. He did. So did we all. The 
spell broken we returned to the "Sirene" op- 
posite the entrance to the famous Tivoli water- 
falls and there with Chianti and spaghetti tried 

341 



FRANZ LISZT 

to forget the morning's disappointments. But 
even there sadness was invoked by the sight of a 
plaster bust of Liszt lying forlorn in the wet grass. 
The head waiter tried to sell it for twenty liri; 
but it was too big to carry; besides its nose was 
missing. He said that the original was some- 
where in Tivoli. 

Sgambati in Rome keeps green the memory 
of the master in his annual recitals; but of the 
churchly compositions nc one I encountered had 
ever heard. At Santa Francesca Romana, ad- 
joining the Forum, Liszt once took up his 
abode; there I saw in the cloister an aged 
grand pianoforte upon which he had played 
in a concert given at the Church of Santa Maria 
Maggiore many years ago. About an hour 
from Rome is the Oratory of the Madonna del 
Rosario on Monte Mario. There Liszt lived and 
composed in 1863. But his sacred music is 
never sung in any of the churches; the noble 
Graner Mass is still unheard in Rome. Even 
the Holy Father refers to the dead Hungarian 
genius as, "il compositore Tedesco!" It was 
different in the days of Pius IX, when Liszt's 
music was favoured at the Vatican. Is it not re- 
lated that Pio Nono bestowed upon the great pi- 
anist the honour of hearing his confession at the 
time he became an abbe ? And did he not after 
four or five hours of worldly reminiscences, cry 
out despairingly to his celebrated penitent: 

"Basta, Caro Liszt! Your memory is marvel- 
lous. Now go play the remainder of your sins 

342 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

upon the pianoforte." They say that Liszt's 
playing on that occasion was simply enchanting 
— and he did not cease until far into the night. 

Liszt's various stopping-places in and arourxd 
Rome were: Vicolo de Greci (No. 43), Hotei 
Alibert, Vicolo Alibert, opposite Via del Bab- 
uino; Villa d'Este with Cardinal Hohenlohe, 
also at the Vatican; in 1866 at Monte Mario, 
Kloster Madonna del Rosario, Kloster Santa 
Francesca Romana, the Princess Sayn- Wittgen- 
stein first resided in the Via del Babuino, later 
(1881) at the Hotel Malaro. Monsignor Ken- 
nedy of the American College shows the grand 
piano upon which Liszt once played there. 

Perhaps Rome, at a superficial glance, still 
affects the American as it did Taine a half cen- 
tury ago, as a provincial city, sprawled to un- 
necessary lengths over its seven hills, and, de- 
spite the smartness of its new quarters, far from 
suggesting a Weltstadt, as does, for example, 
bustling, shining Berlin or mundane Paris. But 
not for her superb and imperial indifference are 
the seductive spells of operatic Venice or the ro- 
mantic glamour of Florence. She can proudly 
say "La ville c'est moi!" She is not a city, but 
the city of cities, and it needs but twenty-four 
hours' submergence in her atmosphere to make 
one a slave at her eternal chariot wheels. The 
New York cockney, devoted to his cult of the 
modern — hotels, baths, cafes and luxurious the- 
atres — soon wearies of Rome. He prefers Paris 
or Naples. Hasn't some one said, "See Naples 

343 



FRANZ LISZT 

and die — of its smells?" As an inexperienced 
traveller I know of no city on the globe where 
you formulate an expression of like or dislike so 
quickly. You are Rome's foe or friend within 
five minutes after you leave its dingy railway 
station. And it is hardly necessary to add that 
its newer quarters, pretentious, cold, hard and 
showy, are quite negligible. One does not go to 
Rome to seek the glazed comforts of Brooklyn. 

The usual manner of approaching the Holy 
Father is to go around to the American Embassy 
and harry the good-tempered secretary into a 
promise of an invitation card, that is, if you are 
not acquainted in clerical circles. I was not long 
in Rome before I discovered that both Mgr. Ken- 
nedy and Mgr. Merry del Val were at Frascati 
enjoying a hard-earned vacation. So I dismissed 
the ghost of the idea and pursued my pagan wor- 
ship at the Museo Vaticano. Then the heavy 
hoofs of three hundred pilgrims invaded the peace 
of the quiet Hotel Fischer up in the Via Sallus- 
tiana. They had come from Cologne and the 
vicinity of the Upper Rhine, bearing Peter's 
pence, wearing queer clothes and good-natured 
smiles. They tramped the streets and churches 
of Rome, did these commonplace, pious folk. 
They burrowed in the Catacombs and ate their 
meals, men and women alike, with such a hearty 
gnashing of teeth, such a rude appetite, that one 
envied their vitality, their faith, their wholesale 
air of having accomplished the conquest of Rome. 

Their schedule, evidently prepared with great 

344 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

forethought and one that went absolutely to 
pieces when put to the test of practical operation, 
was wrangled over at each meal, where the Teu- 
tonic clans foregathered in full force. The third 
day I heard of a projected audience at the Vati- 
can. These people had come to Rome to see the 
Pope. Big-boned and giantlike Monsignor Pick 
visited the hotel daily, and once after I saw him 
in conference with Signor Fischer I asked him 
if it were possible 

" Of course," responded the wily Fischer, "any- 
thing is possible in Rome." Wear evening dress ? 
Nonsense ! That was in the more exacting days 
of Leo XIII. The present Pope is a democrat. 
He hates vain show. Perhaps he has absorbed 
some of the Anglo-Saxon antipathy to seeing 
evening dress on a male during daylight. But 
the ladies wear veils. All the morning of October 
5 the hotel was full of eager Italians selling veils 
to the German ladies. 

Carriages blocked the streets and almost 
stretched four square around the Palazzo Mar- 
gherita. There was noise. There were explosive 
sounds when bargains were driven. Then, after 
the vendors of saints' pictures, crosses, rosary 
beads — chiefly gentlemen of Oriental persua- 
sion, comical as it may seem — we drove off in 
high feather nearly four hundred strong. I had 
secured from Monsignor Pick through the oflSces 
of my amiable host a parti-hued badge with a 
cross and the motto, "Coeln — Rom., 1905," 
which, interpreted, meant "Cologne — Rome." I 

345 



FRANZ LISZT 

felt like singing "Nach Rom," after the fashion 
of the Wagnerians in act II of Tannhauser, but 
contented myself with abusing my coachman for 
his slow driving. It was all as exciting as a first 
night at the opera. 

The rendezvous was the Campo Santo dei 
Tedeschi, which, with its adjoining church of 
Santa Maria della Pieta, was donated to the Ger- 
mans by Pius VI as a burying-ground. There 
I met my companions of the dining-room, and 
after a stem-looking German priest with the bear- 
ing of an officer interrogated me I was permitted 
to join the pilgrims. What at first had been a 
thing of no value was now become a matter of 
life and death. 

After standing above the dust and buried bones 
of illustrious and forgotten Germans we went into 
the church and were cooled by an address in 
German from a worthy cleric whose name I 
cannot recall. I remember that he told us that 
we were to meet the Vicar of Christ, a man like 
ourselves. He emphasised strangely, so it ap- 
peared to me, the humanity of the great prelate 
before whom we were bidden that gloomy au- 
tumnal afternoon. And then, after intoning a 
Te Deum, we filed out in pairs, first the women, 
then the men, along the naked stones until we 
reached the end of the Via delle Fundamenta. 
The pilgrims wore their everyday clothes. One 
even saw the short cloak and the green jagerhut. 
We left our umbrellas at a garderobe; its business 
that day was a thriving one. We mounted in- 

346 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

numerable staircases. We entered the Sala Re- 
gia, our destination — I had hoped for the more 
noble and spacious Sala Ducale. 

Three o'clock was the hour set for the audi- 
ence; but His Holiness was closeted with a 
French ecclesiastical eminence and there was a 
delay of nearly an hour. We spent it in staring 
at the sacred and profane frescoes of Daniele da 
Vol terra, Vasari, Salviati and Zucchari staring at 
each other. The women, despite their Italian 
veils, looked hopelessly Teutonic, the men clumsy 
and ill at ease. There were uncouth and gut- 
tural noises. Conversation proceeded amain. 
Some boasted of being heavily laden with rosaries 
and crucifixes, for all desired the blessing of the 
Holy Father. One man, a young German- 
American priest from the Middle West, almost 
staggered beneath a load of pious emblems. The 
guilty feelings which had assailed me as I passed 
the watchful gaze of the Swiss Guards began to 
wear off. The Sala Regia bore an unfamiliar 
aspect, though I had been haunting it and the 
adjacent Sistine Chapel daily for the previous 
month. An aura, coming I knew not whence, 
surrounded us. The awkward pilgrims, with 
their daily manners, almost faded away, and 
when at last a murmur went up, "The Holy 
Father! the Holy Father! He approaches!" a 
vast sigh of relief was exhaled. The tension had 
become unpleasant. 

We were ranged on either side, the women to 
the right, the men to the left of the throne, which 

347 



FRANZ LISZT 

was an ordinary looking tribune. It must be 
confessed that later the fair sex were vigorously 
elbowed to the rear. In America the women 
would have been well to the front, but the dear 
old Fatherland indulges in no such new fangled 
ideas of sex equality. So the polite male pil- 
grims by superior strength usurped all the good 
places. A tall, handsome man in evening 
clothes — solitary in this respect, with the excep- 
tion of the Pope's body suite — patrolled the 
floor, obsequiously followed by the Suiss in their 
hideous garb — a murrain on Michelangelo's 
taste if he designed such hideous uniforms! I 
fancied that he was no less than a prince of the 
royal blood, so masterly was his bearing. When 
I discovered that he was the Roman correspon- 
dent of a well-known North German gazette my 
respect for the newspaper man abroad was vastly 
increased. The power of the press ! 

"His Holiness comes!" was announced, and 
this time it was not a false alarm. From a gal- 
lery facing the Sistine Chapel entered the inev- 
itable Swiss Guards; followed the ofl&cers of the 
Papal household, grave and reverend seigniors; 
a knot of ecclesiastics, all wearing purple; Mon- 
signor Pick, the Papal prothonotary and a man 
of might in business affairs; then a few strag- 
glers — anonymous persons, stout, bald, ofl&cials 
— and finally Pope Pius X. 

He was attired in pure white, even to the sash 
that compassed his plump little figure. A cross 
depended from his neck. He immediately and 

348 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

in the most matter of fact fashion held out his 
hand to be kissed. I noted the whiteness of the 
nervous hand tendered me, bearing the ring of 
Peter, a large, square emerald surrounded by 
diamonds.. Though seventy, the Pope looks ten 
years younger. He is slightly under medium 
height. His hair is white, his complexion dark 
red, veined, and not very healthy. He seems to 
need fresh air and exercise; the great gardens of 
the Vatican are no compensation for this man of 
sorrows, homesick for the sultry lagoons and 
stretches of gleaming waters in his old diocese 
of Venice. If the human in him could call out 
it would voice Venice, not the Vatican. The 
flesh of his face is what the painters call "ecclesi- 
astical flesh," large in grain. His nose broad, 
unaristocratic, his brows strong and harmonious. 
His eyes may be brown, but they seemed black 
and brilliant and piercing. He moved with silent 
alertness. An active, well-preserved man, though 
he achieved the Biblical three-score and ten in 
June, 1905. I noted, too, with satisfaction, the 
shapely ears, artistic ears, musical ears, their 
lobes freely detached. A certain resemblance to 
Pius IX there is; he is not so amiable as was 
that good-tempered Pope who was nicknamed 
by his intimate friend, the Abbe Liszt, Pia Nina, 
because of his musical proclivities. Altogether, 
I found another than the Pope I had expected. 
This, then, was that exile — an exile, yet in his 
native land; a prisoner in sight of the city of 
which he is the spiritual ruler; a prince over all 

349 



FRANZ LISZT 

principalities and dominions, yet withal a feeble 
old man, whose life might be imperilled if he 
ventured into the streets of Rome. 

The Pope had now finished his circle of pil- 
grims and stood at the other end of the Sala. 
With him stood his chamberlains and ecclesias- 
tics. Suddenly a voice from the balcony, which 
I saw for the first time, bade us come nearer. 
I was thunder-struck. This was back to the 
prose of life with a vengeance. We obeyed in- 
structions. A narrow aisle was made, with the 
Pope in the middle perspective. Then the voice, 
which I discovered by this time issued from the 
mouth of a bearded person behind a huge, glit- 
tering camera, cried out in peremptory and true 
photographer style: — 

"One, two, three! Thank your Holiness." 
And so we were photographed. In the Vati- 
can and photographed ! Old Rome has her sur- 
prises for the patronising visitors from the New 
World. It was too business-like for me, and I 
would have gone away, but I couldn't, as the 
audience had only begun. The Pope went to 
his throne and received the heads of the pilgrims. 
A certain presumptuous American told him that 
the church musical revolution was not much ap- 
preciated in America. He also asked, rash per- 
son that he was, why an example was not set at 
St. Peter's itself, where the previous Sunday he 
had heard, and to his horror, a florid mass by 
Milozzi, as florid and operatic as any he had been 
forced to endure in New York before the new 

350 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LISZT 

order of things. A discreet poke in the ribs en- 
lightened him to the fact that at a general audi- 
ence such questions are not in good taste. 

The Pope spoke a few words in a ringing bary- 
tone voice. He said that he loved Germany, 
loved its Emperor; that every morning his second 
prayer was for Germany — his first, was it for 
the hundredth wandering sheep of the flock, 
France ? That he did not explain. He blessed 
us, and his singing voice proved singularly rich, 
resonant and pure in intonation for an old man. 
Decidedly Pius X is musical; he plays the piano- 
forte it is said, with taste. The pilgrims thun- 
dered the Te Deum a second time, with such 
pious fervour that the venerable walls of the 
Sala Regia shook with their lung vibrations. 
Then the Papal suite followed the sacred figure 
out of the chamber and the buzzing began. The 
women wanted to know — and indignant were 
their inflections — why a certain lady attired in 
scarlet, hat and all, was permitted within the 
sacred precincts. The men hurried, jostling 
each other, for their precious umbrellas. The 
umbrella in Germany is the symbol of the medi- 
aeval sword. We broke ranks and tumbled into 
the now sunny daylight, many going on the wings 
of thirst to the Piazza Santi Apostoli, which, not- 
withstanding its venerable name, has amber med- 
icine for parched German gullets. 

Pius X is a democratic man. He may be seen 
by the faithful at any time. He has organised 
a number of athletic clubs for young Romans, 

351 



FRANZ LISZT 

taking a keen interest in their doings. He is an 
impulsive man and has many enemies in his own 
household. He has expressed his intention of 
ridding Rome of its superfluous monks, those un- 
attached ones who make life a burden by their 
importunings and beggaries in Rome. 

His personal energy was expressed while I was 
in Rome by his very spirited rebuke to some mem- 
bers of the athletic clubs at an audience in the 
Vatican. There was some disorder while the 
Pontiff spoke. He fixed a noisy group with an 
angry glance: — "Those who do not wish to hear 
me — well, there is the open door!" 

Another incident, and one I neglected to re- 
late in its proper place : — As Pius proceeded 
along the line of kneeling figures during the Ger- 
man audience he encountered a little, jolly-look- 
ing priest, evidently known to him. A smile, 
benign, witty, delicately humourous, appeared 
on his lips. For a moment he seemed more Celt 
than Latin. There was no hint of the sardonic 
smile which is said to have crossed the faces of 
Roman augurs. It was merely a friendly recog- 
nition tempered by humility, as if he meant to 
ask: — "Why do you need my blessing, friend ?" 
And it was the most human smile that I would 
imagine worn by a Pope. It told me more of his 
character than even did his meek and resigned 
pose when the official photographer of the Vati- 
can called out his sonorous "Una, due, tre!" 



352 



VIII 

LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

Here is a list of the pupils who studied with 
Liszt. There are doubtless a thousand more 
who claim to have been under his tutelage but 
as he is dead he can't call them liars. All who 
played in Weimar were not genuine pupils. This 
collection of names has been gleaned from vari- 
ous sources. It is by no means infallible. Many 
of them are dead. No attempt is made to de- 
note their nationalities, only sex and alphabetical 
order is employed. Place aux dames. 

Vilma Barga Abranyi, Anderwood, Baronne 
Angwez, Julia Banholzer, Bartlett, Stefanie 
Busch, AHce Bechtel, Berger, Robertine Ber- 
sen-Gothenberg, Ida Bloch, Charlotte Blume- 
Ahrens, Anna Bock, Bodinghausen, Valerie 
Boissier-Gasparin, Marianne Brandt, Antonie 
Bregenzer, Marie Breidenstein, Elisabeth Bren- 
del-Trautmann, Ingeborg Bronsart-Stark, Em- 
ma Briickmann, Burmester, Louisa Cognetti, 
Descy, Wilhelmine Doring, Victoria Brewing, 
Pauline Endry, Pauline Fichtner Erdmanns- 
dorfer, Hermine Esinger, Anna Mehlig-Falk, 
Amy Fay, Anna Fiebinger, Fischer, Margarethe 
Fokke, Stefanie Forster, Hermine Frank, H. 

353 



FRANZ LISZT 

von Friedlander, Vilma von Friedenlieb, Steph- 
anie von Fryderyey, Hirschfeld-Gartner, Anna 
Gall, Cecilia Gaul, Kathi Gaul, Ida Seelmuyden, 
Geyser, Gilbreth, Goodwin, Gower, Amalie 
Greipel-Golz, Margit Groschmied, Emma Gross- 
furth, Ilona Grunn, Emma Guttmann von 
Hadeln, Adele Hastings, Piroska Hary, Howard, 
Heidenreich, Nadine von Helbig (nee Princesse 
Schakovskoy), Gertrud Herzer, Hippins, Hodoly, 
Holtze, Aline Hundt, Marie Trautmann Jaell, 
Olga Janina (Marquise Cezano), Jeapp, Jeppe, 
Julia Jerusalem, Clothilde Jeschke, Helena 
Kahler, Anna Kastner, Clemence Kautz-Kreut- 
zer, Kettwitz, Johanna Klinkerfuss-Schulz, Em- 
ma Koch, Roza Koderle, Manda Von Kontsky, 
Kovnatzka, Ernestine Kramer, Klara Krause, 
Julia Riv^ King, Louise Krausz, Josefine 
Krautwald, Isabella Kulissay, Natalie Kupisch, 
Marie La Mara (Lipsius), Adele Laprunarede 
(Duchesse de Fleury), Vicomtesse de La Roche- 
foucauld, Julie Laurier, Leu Ouscher, Elsa 
Levinson, Ottilie Lichterfeld, Hedwig von Liszt, 
Hermine Liiders, Ella Mdday, Sarah Magnus- 
Heinze, Marie von Majewska-Sokal, Martini, 
Sofie Menter, Emilie Merian Genast, Emma 
Mettler, Olga de Meyendorff (nee Princesse 
Gortschakoff), Miekleser, Von Milde-Agthe, 
Henrietta Mildner, Comtesse de Miramont, Ella 
Modritzky, Marie Mosner, De Montgolfier, Eu- 
genie Miiller-Katalin, Herminie de Musset, Ida 
Nagy, Gizella Neumann, Iren Nobel, Adele Aus 
der Ohe, Sophie Olsen, Paramanoff, Gizella 

354 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

Paszthony-Voigt de Leitersberg, Dory Petersen, 
Sophie Pflughaupt-Stehepin, Jessie Pinney-Bald- 
win, Marie Pleyel-Mock, Pohl-Eyth, Toni Raab, 
Lina Ramann, Katchen von Ranuschewitsch, 
Laura Rappoldi-Kahrer, Duchesse de Rauzan, 
Ilonka von Ravacz, Gertrud Remmert, Martha 
Remmert, Auguste Rennenbaum, Klara Riess, 
Anna Rigo, Anna Rilke, Rosenstock, M. von 
Sabinin, Comtesse Carolyne Saint-Criq d'Artig- 
nan (Liszt's first love), Grafin Sauerma, Louise 
Scharnack, Lina Scheuer, Lina Schmalhausen, 
Marie Schnobel, Agnes Scholer, Adelheid von 
Schorn, Anna Schuck, Elly Schulze, Irma 
Schwarz, Arma Senkrah (Harkness), Caroline 
Montigny-Remaury (Serres), Siegenfeld, Paula 
Sockeland, Ella Solomonson, Sothman, Elsa 
Sonntag, Spater, Anna Spiering, H. Stark, Anna 
Stahr, Helene Stahr, Margarethe Stern-Herr, 
Neally Stevens, Von Stvicowich, Hilda Tegern- 
strom. Vera von Timanoff, Iwanka Valeska, 
Vial, Pauline Viardot- Garcia, Hortense Voigt, 
Pauline von Voros, Ida Volkmann, Josephine 
Ware, Rosa Wappenhaus, Ella Wassemer, Olga 
Wein-Vaszilievitz, Weishemer, Margarethe Wild, 
Etelka Willheim-Illoffsky, Winslow, Janka Wohl, 
Johanna Wenzel-Zarembska. 

Among the men were: Cornel Abranyi, Leo 
d'Ageni, Eugen d'Albert, Isaac Albeniz, C. B. 
Alkan, Nikolaus Almasy, F. Altschul, Conrad 
Ansorge, Emil Bach, Walter Bache, Carl Baer- 
mann, Albert Morris Bagby, Josef Bahnert, Jo- 
hann Butka, Antonio Bazzini, J. von Beliczay, 

355 



FRANZ LISZT 

Franz Bendel, Rudolf Bensey, Theodore Ritter, 
Wilhelm Berger, Arthur Bird, Adolf Blassmann 
Bernhard Boekelmann, Alexander Borodin, 
Louis Brassin, Frederick Boscovitz, Franz Bren- 
del, Emil Brodhag, Hans von Bronsart, Hans 
von Billow, Buonamici, Burgmein (Ricordi), 
Richard Burmeister, Louis Coenen, Herman 
Cohen ("Puzzi"), Chop, Peter Cornelius, Bern- 
hard Cossmann, Leopold Damrosch, William 
Dayas, Ludwig Dingeldey, D' Ma Sudda-Bey, 
Felix Draeseke, Von Dunkirky, Paul Eckhoff, 
Theodore Eisenhauer, Imre Elbert, Max Erds- 
mannsdorfer, Henri Falcke, August Fischer, C. 
Fischer, L. A. Fischer, Sandor Forray, Freymond, 
Arthur Friedheim, W. Fritze, Ferencz Gaal, 
Paul Geisler, Josef Gierl, Henri von Gobbi, Au- 
gust Gollerich, Karl Gopfurt, Edward Gotze, 
Karl Gotze, Adalbert von Goldschmidt, Bela Gosz- 
tonyi, A. W. Gottschlag, L. Griinberger, Gug- 
lielmi, Luigi Gulli, Guricks, Arthur Hahn, Lud- 
wig Hartmann, Rudolf Hackert, Harry Hatch, 
J. Hatton, Hermann, Carl Hermann, Josef 
Huber, Augustus Hyllested, S. Jadassohn, Alfred 
Jaell, Josef Joachim, Rafael Joseffy, Ivanow- 
Ippolitoff, Aladar Jukasz, Louis Jungmann, 
Emerich Kastner, Keler, Berthold Kellermann, 
Baron Von Keudell, Wilhelm Kienzl, Edwin 
Klahre, Karl Klindworth, Julius Kniese, Louis 
Kohler, Martin Krause, Gustav Krausz, Bela 
Kristinkovics, Franz Kroll, Karl Von Lachmund, 
Alexander Lambert, Frederick Lamond, Sieg- 
fried Langaard, Eduard Lassen, W. Waugh 

35^ 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

Lauder, Georg Leitert, Graf de Leutze, Wilhelm 
Von Lenz, Otto Lessmann,^Emil Liebling, Georg 
Liebling, Saul Liebling, Karlo Lippi, Louis 
Lonen, Joseph Lomba, Heinrich Lutter, Louis 
Mass, Gyula Major, Hugo Mansfeldt, L. Marek, 
William Mason, Edward MacDowell, Richard 
Metzdorff, Baron Meyendorff, Max Meyer, 
Meyer- Olbersleben, E. Von Michalowich, Mihl- 
berg, F. Von Milde, Michael Moszonyi, Moriz 
Moszkowski, J, Vianna da Motta, Felix Mottl, 
Franz Miiller, Miiller-Hartung, Johann Miiller, 
Paul Muller, Nikol Nelisofif, Otto Neitzel, Arthur 
Nikisch, Ludwig Nohl, John Orth, F. Pezzini, 
Robert Pflughaupt, Max Pinner, William Piutti, 
Richard Pohl, Karl Pohlig, Pollack, Heinrich 
Porges, Wilhem Posse, Silas G. Pratt, Dionys 
Priickner, Graf Piickler, Joachim RaflF, S. Ratz- 
enberger, Karoly Rausch, Alfred Reisenauer, 
Edward Remenyi, Alfonso Rendano, Julius 
Reulke, Edward Reuss, Hermann Richter, 
Julius Richter, Karl Riedel, F. W. Riesberg, 
Rimsky-Korsakoff, Karl Ritter, Hermann Ritter, 
Moriz Rosenthal, Bertrand Roth, Louis Roth- 
feld, Joseph Rubinstein, Nikolaus Rubinstein, 
Camille Saint-Saens, Max van de Sandt, Emil 
Sauer, Xaver Scharwenka, Hermann Scholtz, 
Bruno Schrader, F. Schreiber, Karl Schroeder, 
Max Schuler, H. Schwarz, Max Seifriz, Alex- 
ander Seroff, Franz Servais, Giovanni Sgambati, 
William H. Sherwood, Rudolf Sieber, Alexander 
Siloti, Edmund Singer, Otto Singer, Antol Sipos, 
Friederich Smetana, Goswin Sockeland, Wilhelm 

357 



FRANZ LISZT 

Speidel, F. Spiro, F. Stade, L. Stark, Ludwig 
Stasny, Adolph Stange, Bernhard Stavenhagen, 
Eduard Stein, August Stradal, Frank Van der 
Stucken, Arpad Szendy, Ladislas Tarnowski, 
Karl Tausig, E. Telbicz, Otto Tiersch, Anton 
Urspruch, Baron Vegh, Rudolf Viole, Vital, Jean 
Voigt, Voss, Henry Waller, Felix Weingartner, 
Weissheimer, Westphalen, Joseph Wieniawsky, 
Alexander Winterberger, Theador de Witt, Peter 
Wolf, Jules Zarembsky, Van Zeyl, Geza Zichy 
(famous one-armed Hungarian pianist), Her- 
mann Zopff, Johannes Zschocher. Stephen 
Thoman, Louis Messemaekers, Robert Freund. 
And how many more? 

All the names above mentioned were not pian- 
ists. Some were composers, later celebrated, 
conductors, violinists — Joachim and Remenyi, 
and Van Der Stucken, for example — harpists, 
even musical critics who went to Liszt for musical 
advice, advice that he gave with a royal prodigal- 
ity. He never received money for his lessons. 
"Am I a piano teacher?" he would thunder if 
a pupil came to him with faulty technic. 

What became of Part Third of the Liszt Piano 
Method? It was spirited away and has never 
been heard of since. In his Franz Liszt in 
Weimar, the late A. W. Gottschalg discusses the 
mystery. A pupil, a woman, is said to have been 
the delinquent. The Method, as far as it goes 
is not a work of supreme importance. Liszt 
was not a pedagogue, and abhorred technical 
drudgery. 

358 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

As to the legend of his numerous children, we 
can only repeat Mark Twain's witticism con- 
cerning a false report of his death — the report 
has been much exaggerated. At one time or an- 
other Alexander Winterberger, a pupil (since dead) , 
the late Anton Seidl, Servais, Arthur Friedheim, 
and many others have been called "sons of 
Liszt." And I have heard of several ladies who 
— possibly thinking it might improve their tech- 
nic — made the claim of paternity. At one time 
in Weimar, Friedheim smilingly assured me, 
there was a craze to be suspected an offspring 
of the Grand Old Man — who like Wotan had 
his Valkyrie brood. When Eugen d' Albert first 
played for Liszt he was saluted by him as the 
"Second Tausig," That settled his paternity. 
Immediately it was hinted that he greatly re- 
sembled Karl Tausig, and although his real 
father was a French dance composer — do you 
remember the Peri Valse? — everyone stuck to 
the Tausig legend. I wonder what the mothers 
of these young Lisztians thought of their sons' 
tact and delicacy ? 

Liszt denied that Thalberg was the natural 
son of Prince Dietrichstein of Vienna, as was 
commonly believed. To Gollerich he said that 
his early rival was the son of an Englishman. 
Richard Burmeister told me when Servais vis- 
ited Weimar the Lisztian circle was agitated 
because of the remarkable resemblance the Bel- 
gian bore to the venerable Abbe. At the whist- 
table — the game was a favourite one with the 

359 



FRANZ LISZT 

Master — some tactless person bluntly put the 
question to Liszt as to the supposed relationship. 
He fell into a rage and growlingly answered: 
"Ich kenne seine Mutter nur durch Correspon- 
denz, und so was kann man nicht durch Cor- 
respondenz abmachen." Then the game was re- 
sumed. 

Liszt admired the brilliant talents of the young 
Nietzsche, but he distrusted his future. Nietz- 
sche disliked the pianist and said of him in one 
of his aphorisms: "Liszt the first representative 
of all musicians, but no musician. He was the 
prince, not the statesman. The conglomerate of 
a hundred musicians' souls, but not enough of a 
personality to cast his own shadow upon them." 
In his Roving Expeditions of an Inopportune 
Philosopher, Nietzsche even condescends to a 
pun on Liszt as a piano teacher: "Liszt, or the 
school of running — after women" (Schule der 
Gelaufigkeit). 

TAUSIG 

Over a quarter of a century has passed since 
the death of Karl Tausig, a time long enough 
to dim the glory of the mere virtuoso. Many are 
still living who have heard him play, and can re- 
call the deep impressions which his performances 
made on his hearers. Whoever not only knew 
Karl Tausig at the piano, but had studied his 
genuinely artistic nature, still retains a living 
image of him. He stands before us in all his 
360 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

youth, for he died early, before he had reached 
the middle point of life; he counted thirty years 
at the time of his death, when his great heart, in- 
spired with a love for all beauty, ceased to beat; 
when those hands, Tes mains de bronze et des 
diamants, as Liszt named them in a letter to his 
pupil and friend, grew stiff in death. 

It was through many wanderings and perplex- 
ities that Karl Tausig rose to the height which he 
reached in the last years of his life. A friendless 
childhood was followed by a period of Sturm und 
Drang, till the dross had been purged away and 
the pure gold of his being displayed. The es- 
sence of his playing was warm objectivity; he 
let every masterpiece come before us in its own 
individuality; the most perfect virtuosity, his 
incomparable surmounting of all technical means 
of expression, was to him only the means, never 
the end. Paradoxical as it may appear, there 
never was, before or since, so great a virtuoso who 
was less a virtuoso. Hence the career of a virtu- 
oso did not satisfy him; he strove for higher ends, 
and apart from his ceaseless culture of the intel- 
lect, his profound studies in all fields of science 
and the devotion which he gave to philosophy, 
mathematics, and the natural sciences, what he 
achieved in the field of music possesses a special 
interest, as he regarded it as merely a preparation 
for comprehensive creative activity. Some of these 
compositions are still found in the programmes 
of all celebrated pianists, while the arrangements 
that he made for pedagogic purposes occupy a 
361 



FRANZ LISZT 

prominent place in the courses of all conser- 
vatories. 

Karl Tausig came to Berlin in the beginning 
of the sixties. Alois Tausig, his father, a dis- 
tinguished piano teacher at Warsaw, who had di- 
rected the early education of the son, whom he 
survived by more than a decade, had already 
presented him to Liszt at Weimar. Liszt at once 
took the liveliest interest in the astonishing tal- 
ents of the boy and made him a member of his 
household at Altenburg, at Weimar, where this 
prince in the realm of art kept his court with 
the Princess Sayn- Wittgenstein, surrounded by 
a train of young artists, to which Hans von Bil- 
low, Karl Klindworth, Peter Cornelius (to name 
only a few) belonged. With all these Karl Tau- 
sig formed intimate friendships, especially with 
Cornelius, who was nearest to him in age. An 
active correspondence was carried on between 
them, even when their paths of life separated 
them. Tausig next went to Wagner at Zurich, 
and the meeting confirmed him in his enthusi- 
asm for the master's creations and developed 
that combativeness for the works and artistic 
struggles of Wagner which resulted in the ar- 
rangement of orchestral concerts in Vienna ex- 
clusively for Wagner's compositions, a very haz- 
ardous venture at that period. He directed them 
in person, and gave all his savings and all his 
youthful power to them without gaining the suc- 
cess that was hoped for. The master himself, 
when he came to Vienna for the rehearsals of the 
362 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

first performances of Tristan und Isolde, had 
sad experiences; his young friend stood gallantly 
by his side, but the performance did not take 
place. Vienna was then a sterile soil for Wag- 
ner's works and designs. Tausig returned in 
anger to Berlin, where he quickly became an im- 
portant figure and a life-giving centre of a circle 
of interesting men. He founded a conservatory 
that was sought by pupils from all over the 
world, and where teachers like Louis Ehlert and 
Adolf Jensen gave instruction. When Richard 
Wagner came to Berlin in 1870 with a project for 
erecting a theatre of his own for the performance 
of the Nibelungen Ring it was Tausig who took 
it up with ardent zeal, to which the master bore 
honourable testimony in his account of the per- 
formance. 

In July, 1871, Tausig visited Liszt at Wei- 
mar and accompanied him to Leipsic, where 
Liszt's grand mass was performed in St. Thomas' 
Church by the Riedle Society. After the per- 
formance he fell sick. A cold, it was said, pros- 
trated him. In truth he had the seeds of death 
in him, which Wagner, in his inscription for the 
tomb of his young friend, expressed by the words, 
"Ripe for death!" The Countess Krockow and 
Frau von Moukanoff, who on the report of his 
being attacked by typhus hastened to discharge 
the duties of a Samaritan by his sick-bed in the 
hospital, did all that careful nursing and devoted 
love could do, but in vain, and on July 17 Karl 
Tausig breathed his last. 

363 



FRANZ LISZT 

His remains were carried from Leipsic to Ber- 
lin, and were interred in the new cemetery in the 
Belle Alliance Strasse. During the funeral cere- 
mony a great storm burst forth, and the roll 
of the thunder mingled with the strains of the 
Funeral March from the Eroica which the Sym- 
phony Orchestra performed at his grave. Friends 
erected a simple memorial. An obelisk of rough- 
hewn syenite bears his portrait, modelled in re- 
lief by Gustav Blaesar. Unfortunately wind and 
weather in the course of years injured the marble 
of the relief, so that its destruction at an early 
period was probable, and the same friends sub- 
stituted a bronze casting for the marble, which 
on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death was 
adorned with flowers by loving hands. 

Karl Tausig represents the very opposite pole 
in "pianism" to Thalberg; he was fire and flame 
incama'e, he united all the digital excellencies 
of the aristocratic Thalberg, including his su- 
preme and classic calm to a temperament that, 
like a comet, traversed artistic Europe and fired 
it with enthusiastic ideals. If Karl Tausig had 
only possessed the creative gift in any proportion 
to his genius for reproduction he would have been 
a giant composer. As a pianist he has never had 
his equal. With Liszt's fire and Billow's intel- 
lectuality he nevertheless transcended them both 
in the possession of a subtle something that de- 
fied analysis. We see it in his fugitive composi- 
tions that revel on technical heights hitherto un- 
sealed. Tausig had a force, a virility combined 

364 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

with a mental insight, that made him peer of all 
pianists. It is acknowledged by all who heard 
him that his technic outshone all others; he had 
the whispering and crystalline pianissimo of 
JoseflFy, the liquidity of Thalberg's touch, with 
the resistless power of a Rubinstein. 

He literally killed himself playing the piano; 
his vivid nature felt so keenly in reproducing the 
beautiful and glorious thoughts of Bach, Bee- 
thoven and Chopin, and, Hke a sabre that was too 
keen for its own scabbard, he wore himself out 
from nervous exhaustion. Tausig was many- 
sided, and the philosophical bent of his mind may 
be seen in the few fragments of original music 
he has vouchsafed us. Take a Thalberg oper- 
atic fantaisie and a paraphrase of Tausig's, say 
of Tristan and Isolde, and compare them; then 
one can readily gauge the vast strides piano music 
has taken. Touch pure and singing was the 
Thalbergian ideal. Touch dramatic, full of 
variety, is the Tausig ideal. One is vocal, the 
other instrumental, and both seem to fulfill their 
ideals. Tausig had a hundred touches; from a 
feathery murmur to an explosive crash he com- 
manded the entire orchestra of contrasts. Thal- 
berg was the cultivated gentleman of the drawing- 
room, elegiac, but one who never felt profoundly 
(glance at his etude on repeated notes). Elegant 
always, jocose never. Tausig was a child of the 
nineteenth century, full of its ideals, its aimless 
strivings, its restlessness, its unfaith and desper- 
ately sceptical tone. If he had only lived he 

365 



FRANZ LISZT 

would have left an imprint on our modern musi- 
cal life as deep as Franz Liszt, whose pupil he 
was. Richard Wagner was his god and he strove 
much for him and his mighty creations. 

ROSENTHAL 

" You, I presume, do not wish for biographical 
details — of my appearances as a boy in Vienna 
and later in St. Petersburg, of my early studies 
with Joseffy and later with Liszt," asked the 
great virtuoso. "You would like to hear something 
about Liszt ? As a man or as an artist ? You 
know I was with him ten years, and can flatter 
myself that I have known him intimately. As a 
man, I can well say I have never met any one so 
good and noble as he. Every one knows of his 
ever-ready helpfulness toward struggling artists, 
of his constant willingness to further the cause 
of charity. And when was there ever such a 
friend ? I need only refer you to the correspon- 
dence between him and Wagner, published a 
year ago, for proof of his claims to highest dis- 
tinction in that oft-abused capacity. One is not 
only compelled to admire the untiring efforts to 
assist Wagner in every way that are evidenced 
in nearly each one of his letters, but one is also 
obliged to appreciate such acts for which no 
other documents exist than the history of music 
in our day. The fact alone that Liszt, who had 
every stage of Germany open to him if he had 
so wished, never composed an opera, but used 

366 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

his influence rather in behalf of Wagner's works, 
speaks fully as eloquently as the many letters 
that attest his active friendship. For Liszt the 
artist, my love and admiration are equally great. 
Even in his inferior works can be discovered 
the stamp of his genius. Do you know the Polo- 
naise, by Tschaikowsky, transcribed by him ? Is 
it not a remarkable effort for an old gentleman 
of seventy-two ? And the third Mephisto Waltz 
for piano? Certain compositions of his, such 
as Les Preludes, Die Ideale, Tasso, the Hun- 
garian Rhapsodies, and some of the songs and 
transcriptions for piano, will unquestionably con- 
tinue to be performed and enjoyed for many, 
many years to come. 

" You ask how he played? As no one before 
him, and as no one probably will ever again. I 
remember when I first went to him as a boy — 
he was in Rome at the time — he used to play 
for me in the evening by the hour — nocturnes 
by Chopin, Etudes of his own — all of a soft, 
dreamy nature that caused me to open my eyes 
in wonder at the marvellous delicacy and finish 
of his touch. The embellishments were like a 
cobweb — so fine — or like the texture of cost- 
liest lace. I thought, after what I had heard in 
Vienna, that nothing further would astonish me 
in the direction of digital dexterity, having stud- 
ied with Joseffy, the greatest master of that art. 
But Liszt was more wonderful than anybody I 
had ever known, and he had further surprises in 
store for me. I had never heard him play any- 

367 



FRANZ LISZT 

thing requiring force, and, in view of his advanced 
age, took for granted that he had fallen off from 
vfhsit he once had been." 



ARTHUR FRIEDHEIM 

Arthur Friedheim was born of German pa- 
rentage in St. Petersburg, October 26, 1859. He 
lost his father in early youth, but was carefully 
reared by an excellent mother. His musical 
studies were begun in his eighth year, and his 
progress was so rapid that he was enabled to make 
his artistic debut before the St. Petersburg pub- 
lic in the following year by playing Field's A-flat 
major concerto. He created a still greater sen- 
sation, however, after another twelve months had 
elapsed, with his performance of Weber's difl&cult 
piano concerto, reaping general admiration for 
his work. Despite these successes, the youth was 
then submitted to a thorough university educa- 
tion, and in 1877 passed his academical examina- 
tion with great honours. But now the musical 
promptings of his warm artist soul, no longer 
able to endure this restraint, having revived, 
Friedheim with all his energy again devoted him- 
self to his musical advancement, including the 
study of composition, and it proved a severe blow, 
indeed, to him when his family soon afterward 
met with reverses, in losing their estates, thus 
robbing the young artist of his cheery home sur- 
roundings. 

From this time Friedheim's artistic wander- 
368 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

ings began, and fulfilling a long cherished desire, 
he, with his mother, first paid a visit to that mas- 
ter of masters, Franz Liszt. Then he went to 
Dresden, continuing in the composition of an 
opera begun at St. Petersburg, entitled The Last 
Days of Pompeii. In order to acquire the neces- 
sary routine he accepted a position as conductor 
of operas for several years, when an irresistible 
force once more led his steps toward Weimar, 
where, after he had produced the most favoura- 
ble impression by the performance of his own 
piano concerto, with Liszt at a second piano, he 
took up his permanent abode with the master, 
accompanying him to Rome and Naples. Mean- 
time Friedheim concertised in Cairo, Alexandria, 
and Paris, also visiting London in 1882. At the 
request of Camille Saint-Saens fragments of his 
works were produced during his stay in Paris. 
Friedheim next went to Vienna, where his con- 
certs met with brilliant success, and later on to 
Northern Germany, where his renown as a great 
pianist became firmly established. He enjoyed 
positive triumphs in Berlin, Leipsic and Carls- 
ruhe. Friedheim's technic, his tone, touch, mar- 
vellous certainty, unequalled force and endurance, 
his broad expression and that rare gift — a style 
in the grand manner — are the qualities that have 
universally received enthusiastic praise. In la- 
ter years he travelled extensively, and more par- 
ticularly in 1884 to 1886, in Germany. In 1887 
he conducted a series of concerts in Leipsic, in 
1888 he revisited London, in 1889 he made a 

369 



FRANZ LISZT 

tour through Russia and Poland; a second tour 
through Russia was made in 1890, including 
Bohemia, Austria, and Galicia, while in 1891 he 
played numerous engagements in Germany and 
also in London, whence he came to this country 
to fulfil a very short engagement. 

Albert Morris Bagby wrote as follows in his 
article, "Some Pupils of Liszt," in the Century 
about twenty years ago: 

"Friedheim! What delightful musical mem- 
ories and happy recollections are the rare days 
spent together in Weimar that name excites! 
D'Albert left there before my time, and though 
I met him on his flying visits to Weimar, I gen- 
erally think of him as I first saw him, seated at 
a piano on the concert platform. 

" One late afternoon in August, 1885, Liszt 
stood before a wide-open window of his salon on 
the second floor of the court gardener's residence 
in Weimar, and his thoughtful gaze wandered 
out beyond the long row of hothouses and narrow 
beds of rare shrubs to the rich leafy growth which 
shaded the glorious park inclosing this modest 
home. He was in a serene state of mind after 
an hour at whist in which he had won the rubber, 
and now, while his young companions were put- 
ting the card-tables and chairs back into their 
accustomed places about the room, he stood 
silent and alone. Any one of us would have given 
more than 'a penny for his thoughts,' a fact 
which he probably divined, for, without turning 
his head, he said; 'Friedheim did indeed play 

370 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

beautifully!' referring to the young pianist's 
performance of his A major concerto that after- 
noon in the class lesson. 

" 'And the accompaniment was magnificently 
done, too!' added one of the small party. 

" *Ah!' exclaimed the master, with an ani- 
mated look and gesture which implied, * that 
goes without saying.' 'Friedheim,' said he, and 
lifted his hand with a proud sweep to indicate 
his estimation of his favourite pupil, who had 
supplied the orchestral part on a second piano. 
After Friedheim's triumphal debut at Leipsic in 
the spring of 1884, Liszt was so much gratified 
that he expressed with unwonted warmth his 
belief that the young man would yet become the 
greatest piano virtuoso of the age. He was then 
just twenty-four years old, and his career since 
that event points toward the fulfilment of the 
prophecy. 

"Arthur Friedheim is the most individual per- 
former I have ever heard. A very few execu- 
tants equal him in mere finger dexterity, but he 
surpasses them all in his gigantic strength at the 
instrument and in marvellous clearness and bril- 
liancy. At times he plays with the unbridled 
impetuosity of a cyclone ; and even while appa- 
rently dealing the piano mighty blows, which from 
other hands would sound forced and discordant, 
they never cease to be melodious. This musical, 
penetrating quality of touch is the chief charm of 
Friedheim's playing. He makes the piano sing, 
but its voice is full and sonorous. If he plays a 

371 



FRANZ LISZT 

pianissimo passage the effect is as clear and sweet 
as a perfectly attuned silver bell, and his gradu- 
ated increase or diminution of tone is the acme of 
artistic finish. No living pianist performs Liszt's 
compositions so well as Friedheim. This fact 
was unanimously mentioned by the critics upon 
his first appearance in Berlin in a 'Liszt con- 
cert,' in conjunction with the fear that he would 
not succeed as an interpreter of Beethoven and 
Chopin; which, however, the new virtuoso has 
since proved groundless. Friedheim is one of 
the most enjoyable and inspiriting of the great 
pianists. His playing of Liszt's second rhap- 
sody produces an electric shock; and once heard 
from him La Campanella remains in the memory 
an ineffaceable tone poem. To me he has made 
likewise indelible Chopin's lovely D-flat major 
prelude. 

Friedheim is of medium height and weight; 
has regular, clear-cut features, dark brown eyes, 
and hair pushed straight back from a high, broad 
forehead and falling over his coat collar, artist 
fashion. In his street dress, with a bronze vel- 
vet jacket, great soft felt hat and a gold medal- 
lion portrait of Liszt worn as a scarf pin, he is the 
typical musician. His resemblance to the early 
pictures of Liszt is as marked as that of D'Albert 
to Tausig. He was born and bred in St. Peters- 
burg, though his parents are German. I know 
nothing of his early instructors, but it is sufl&cient 
to say that he was at least nine years with Liszt. 
Fortune favoured him with a relative of unusual 

2,1^ 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

mental power who has made his advancement 
her hfe work. To these zealous mothers of 
musicians the world is indebted for some of the 
greatest artistic achievements of every time and 
period. There are many celebrated instances 
where application is almost entirely lacking or 
fluctuating in the child of genius, and the mother 
supplied the deficiency of character until the 
artist was fully developed, and steadiness of 
purpose had become routine with him. One 
evening I was sitting with Friedheim and his 
mother in one of those charming restaurant 
gardens which abound in Weimar when we were 
joined by two of the Lisztianer, convivial spirits 
who led a happy-go-lucky existence. 'Come, 
Arthur,' said one, 'we will go to the "Armbrust" 
for a few minutes — music there to-night. Will 
be right back, Mrs. Friedheim.' 'No,' replied 
the mother, pleasantly, ' Arthur remains with me 
this evening.' 'But, mother, we will be gone 
only a few minutes, and I have already practiced 
seven hours to-day,' entreated the sor.. 'Yes, 
dear child, and you must practice seven more to- 
morrow. I think you had better remain with 
me,' responded his parent. Friedheim good- 
naturedly assented to his mother's speech, for 
the nocturnal merry-makings of a certain clique 
of divers artists at the 'Hotel zum Elephanten' 
were too well-known to risk denial." 



373 



FRANZ LISZT 



JOSEFFY 

Descent counts for much in matters artistic as 
well as in the breeding of racehorses. "Tell me 
who the master is and I will describe for you the 
pupil," cry some theorists who might be called 
extremists. How many to-day know the name 
of Anton Rubinstein's master? Yet the peda- 
gogue Villoing laid the foundation of the great 
Russian pianist's musical education, an educa- 
tion completed by the genial Franz Liszt. In the 
case, however, of Rafael Joseffy he was a famous 
pupil of a famous master. There are some crit- 
ics who claim that Karl Tausig represents the 
highest development of piano playing in this 
century of piano-playing heroes. His musical 
temperament so finely fibred, his muscular 
system like steel thrice tempered is duplicated 
in his pupil, who, at an age when boys are 
gazing at the world across the threshold of Toy- 
land, was an accredited artist, a virtuoso in 
knee-breeches! 

Rafael Joseflfy stands to-day for all that is ex- 
quisite and poetic in the domain of the piano. 
His touch is original, his manipulation of the 
mechanism of the instrument unapproachable, 
a virtuoso among virtuosi, and the beauty of his 
tone, its velvety, aristocratic quality, so free from 
any suspicion of harshness or brutality, gives him 
a unique position in the music-loving world. There 
is magic in his attack, magic and moonlight in 

374 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

his playing of a Chopin nocturne, and brilliancy 
— a meteor-like brilliancy — in his performance 
of a Liszt concerto. 

This rare combination of the virtuoso and the 
poet places Joseflfy outside the pale of popular 
"pianism." From Tausig he inherited his keen 
and severe sense of rhythm; from his native 
country, Hungary, he absorbed brilliancy and 
colour sense. When Joseffy was young he de- 
lighted in the exhibition of his fabulous technic, 
but he has mellowed, he has matured, and super- 
imposed upon the brilliancies of his ardent 
youth are the thoughtful interpretations of the 
intellectual artist. He is a classical pianist par 
excellence, and his readings of Bach, Beethoven, 
Schumann, and Brahms are authoritative and 
final. To the sensitive finish he now unites a 
breadth of tone and feeling, and you may gauge 
the catholicity of the man by his love for both 
Chopin and Brahms. 

There you have Joseffy, an interpreter of 
Brahms and Chopin! No need to expatiate 
further on his versatility! His style has under- 
gone during the past five years a thorough puri- 
fication. He has successfully combated the 
temptation of excess in colour, of the too lusty 
exuberance in the use of his material, of abuse of 
the purely decorative side of his art. Touching 
the finer rim of the issues of his day Joseffy emu- 
lates the French poet, Paul Verlaine, in his de- 
votion to the nuance, to the shade within shade 
that may be expressed on the keyboard of the 

375 



FRANZ LISZT 

piano. Yet his play never lacks the robust ring, 
the virile accent. He is no mere pianissimist, 
striving for effects of the miniaturist; rather in 
his grasp of the musical content of a composition 
does he reveal his acuity and fine spiritual temper. 

OSCAR BERINGER 

" To Franz Liszt, who towers high above all 
his predecessors, must be given pride of place. 

" In 1870 1 had the good fortune to go with Tau- 
sig to the Beethoven Festival held at Weimar by 
the Allgemeiner Musik Verein, and there I met 
Liszt for the first time. I had the opportunity 
of learning to know him from every point of view, 
as pianist, conductor, composer, and, in his 
private capacity, as a man — and every aspect 
seemed to me equally magnificent. 

" His remarkable personality had an inde- 
scribable fascination, which made itself felt at 
once by all who came into contact with him. 
This wonderful magnetism and power to charm 
all sorts and conditions of men was illustrated in 
a delightful way. He was walking down Regent 
Street one day, on his way to his concert at the 
St. James' Hall. As he passed the cab-rank, he 
was recognised, and the cabbies as one man took 
off their hats and gave three rousing cheers for 
'The Habby Liszt.' The man who can evoke 
the enthusiasm of a London cabby, except by 
paying him treble his fare, is indeed unique and 
inimitable! 

376 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

" As a Conductor, the musical world owes him 
an undying debt of gratitude for having been the 
first to produce Wagner's Lohengrin, and to re- 
vive Tannhauser in the face of the opprobrium 
heaped upon this work by the whole of the Euro- 
pean press. It was he, too, who first produced 
Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini and many other 
works, which, though neglected and improperly 
understood at that time, have since come into 
their kingdom and received due recognition. 

" As a Composer, I do not think that Liszt has 
hitherto been esteemed as highly as he deserves. 
If only for having invented the symphonic poem, 
which was an absolutely new form of orchestral 
composition, he has merited the highest honours; 
while his pre-eminence is still undisputed in the 
bravura style of pianoforte works, without one 
or more of which no pianoforte recital seems com- 
plete. The same compliment is not paid his 
orchestral works, which are performed far too 
rarely. 

" Words cannot describe him as a Pianist — he 
was incomparable and unapproachable." 

CLARA NOVELLO 

There are interesting anecdotes of great 
musicians. Rossini was her intimate friend and 
adviser for years. In Paris she knew Chopin, 
who came to the house often and would only play 
for them if "la petite Clara would recite Peter 
Piper Picked." She remembered waltzing to 

377 



FRANZ LISZT 

his and Thalberg's playing. Later, when she 
was studying in Milan and knew Liszt, she sang 
at one of his concerts when no one else would do 
so, because he had offended the Milanese by a 
pungent newspaper article. He gave her cour- 
age to have a tooth out by playing Weber's Con- 
certstiick. She remembered hearing Paganini 
play when that arch-trickster took out a pair of 
scissors and cut three of the strings of his violin 
so that they hung down loose, and on the fourth 
performed his Witches' Dance, so that " the lights 
seemed to turn blue." 

BIZET 

We are not accustomed to thinking of the com- 
poser of Carmen as a pianist, but the following 
anecdote from the London Musical Standard 
throws new light upon the subject: 

" It may not be generally known that the French 
composer, Bizet, possessed to a very high degree 
two artistic qualities: a brilliant technique and 
an extraordinary skill in score reading. On vari- 
ous occasions he gave proof of this great ability. 
One of the most interesting is the following: 

" Bizet's fellow-countryman, the composer Hal- 
^vy, who filled the position of secretary to the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, had gathered a 
few of his friends at his house for a little supper. 
In the circle were Liszt and Bizet. After they 
had finished their repast, the company went to 
the host's music room. Gathered around the 

378 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

fireplace, which increased the charm of comfort, 
and with cigars and coffee, the guests gave them- 
selves up to an animated conversation; finally 
Liszt seated himself at the piano. The famous 
master played one of his compositions which 
was unknown to those present. He overcame 
its tremendous difficulties with the customary 
audacity and strength. A storm of applause 
followed the brilliant execution. Liszt ended 
with a brilliant passage which seemed absolutely 
impossible to mortal fingers. Every one pressed 
around the great pianist, shaking his hands en- 
thusiastically and admiring not only his un- 
equalled playing, but praising also the clever 
composition, which could have been written only 
by so masterful a composer. 

"'Yes,' replied Liszt, 'the piece is difficult, 
terribly difficult, and in all Europe I know only 
two pianists who are able to play it with the in- 
terpretation which belongs to it, and in the tempo 
which I have used, Von Biilow and myself.' 

" Haldvy, with whom Bizet had studied, had 
also joined the circle around the piano and com- 
plimented the master. Suddenly turning to the 
young Bizet, whose fine memory and ability he 
well knew, he said: 

"'Did you notice that passage?' He ac- 
companied the question with a few chords which 
sketched the passage in question, which had 
aroused his attention. Accepting the implied in- 
vitation, Bizet took his place at the piano, and, 
without the slightest hesitation, repeated the 

379 



FRANZ LISZT 

passage which had drawn out the admiration of 
his teacher. 

" Liszt observed the clever youngster with as- 
tonishment, while Hal6vy, smiling slyly, could 
scarcely suppress his joy over Liszt's surprise. 

" * Just wait a moment, young man, just wait!' 
said Liszt, interrupting. 'I have the manuscript 
with me. It will help your memory.' 

"The manuscript was quickly brought, and 
placed upon the piano rack. Bizet, to the gen- 
eral astonishment, immediately took up the dif- 
ficult piece, and played it through to the final 
chord with a verve and rapidity which no one 
had expected from him. Not once was there a 
sign of weakness or hesitation. An enthusiastic 
and long clapping of hands followed the playing. 
Halevy continued to smile, enjoying to the full 
the triumph of his favourite pupil. 

" But Liszt, who always rose to an occasion and 
was never chary of praise for others, stepped to 
the young man's side after the wave of applause 
had subsided, pressed his hand in a friendly man- 
ner, and said with irresistible kindness, 'My 
young friend, up to the present time I believed 
that there were only two men capable of over- 
coming the tremendous difficulties which I wrote 
in that piece, but I deceived myself — there are 
three of us; and I must add, in order to be just, 
that the youngest of us is perhaps the cleverest 
and the most brilliant.' " 



380 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 



SGAMBATI 

" One of the pioneers of classical music in Italy, 
and one of its most talented composers of cham- 
ber music and in symphonic forms, is Giovanni 
Sgambati, born in Rome, May i8, 1843," writes 
Edward Burlingame Hill, in the Etude. " His 
father was a lawyer; his mother, an English- 
woman, was the daughter of Joseph Gott, the Eng- 
lish sculptor. There had been some idea of mak- 
ing a lawyer of young Sgambati, but the intensity 
of his interest in music and his obvious talent 
precluded the idea of any other career. When he 
was but six years old, his father died, and he 
went with his mother to live in Trevii, in Umbria, 
where she soon married again. Even at this early 
age he played in public, sang contralto solos in 
church, and also conducted small orchestras. 
When a little older he studied the piano, harmony 
and composition with Natalucci, a pupil of Zinga- 
relli, a famous teacher at the Naples conservatory. 
He returned in i860 to Rome, where he became 
at once popular as a pianist, in spite of the sever- 
ity of his programmes, for he played the works 
of Beethoven, Chopin and Schumann, and the 
fugues of Bach and Handel. Many of these 
works were entirely unknown to Italian audiences; 
he thus became an ardent propagandist of the 
best literature of the piano. His next teacher 
was Professor Aldega, master of the Capella Li- 
beriana of Santa Maria Maggiore. He was on 



FRANZ LISZT 

the point of leaving for Germany for further study 
when Liszt came to Rome, became interested in 
Sgambati and took him in charge for special in- 
struction in the mysteries of higher piano play- 
ing. He soon became the leading exponent of 
the Liszt school of technic and interpretation. 
Sgambati was the soloist in a famous series of 
classical chamber music concerts inaugurated in 
Rome by Ramaciotti; he was (as mentioned be- 
fore) the first interpreter of the works of Schu- 
mann, who in the years 1862-63 was virtually 
unknown in Italy. Later he began to give orches- 
tral concerts at which the symphonies and con- 
certos of the German masters were given for the 
first time. In 1866, when the Dante Gallery 
was inaugurated, Liszt chose Sgambati to con- 
duct his Dante symphony. On this occasion Bee- 
thoven's Eroica symphony was given for the first 
time in Rome. 

" In 1869, he travelled in Germany with Liszt, 
meeting many musicians of note, among them 
Wagner, Rubinstein, and Saint-Saens, hearing 
The Rhinegold at Munich. Wagner, in par- 
ticular, became so much interested in Sgam- 
bati's compositions that he secured a publisher 
for them by his emphatic recommendations. On 
returning to Rome, Sgambati founded a free 
piano class at the Academy of St. Cecilia, since 
adopted as a part of its regular course of instruc- 
tion. In 1878, he became professor of the piano 
at the Academy, and at present is its director. 
In 1896, he founded the Nuova Societa Musicale 

382 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

Romana (the Roman New Musical Society) for 
increasing interest in Wagnerian opera. Sgam- 
bati has been an occasional visitor to foreign 
cities, notably London and Paris, both in the 
capacity of pianist and as conductor; he has led 
performances of his symphonies in various Italian 
cities, and at concerts where the presence of roy- 
alty lent distinction to the audience. 

" Miss Bettina Walker, a pupil of Sgambati in 
1879, gives a most delightful picture of Sgam- 
bati in her book. My Musical Experiences. A 
few extracts may assist in forming an idea of his 
personality. 'He then played three or four 
pieces of Liszt's, winding up the whole with a 
splendid reading of Bach's Chromatic Fantasy. 
In everything that he played, Sgambati far ex- 
ceeded all that I could have anticipated. His 
lovely, elastic touch, the weight and yet the soft- 
ness of his wrist staccato, the swing and go of his 
rhythmic beat, the colouring rich and warm, and 
yet most exquisitely delicate, and over all the 
atmosphere of grace, the charm and the repose 
which perfect mastery alone can give.' — 'But 
to return to the relation of my studies with Sgam- 
bati. He gave me the scales to practice in thirds, 
and arpeggios in the diminished sevenths, for rais- 
ing the fingers from the keyboard — recommend- 
ing these as the best possible daily drills for the 
fingers. He also gave me some guidance in the 
first book of Kullak's octave-studies and he tried 
to initiate me into the elastic swing and movement 
of the wrist, so important in the octave-playing 

3^3 



FRANZ LISZT 

of modem compositions. Sgambati's playing 
of Liszt was, now that I compare him with many 
others whom I have since heard, more poetical 
than any. In the sudden fortissimi so character- 
istic of the school his tone was always rich and 
full, never wooden or shrill; while his pianissimi 
were so subtle and delicate, and the nuances, the 
touches of beauty, were fraught with a sighing, 
lingering, quite inimitable sweetness, which one 
could compare to nothing more material than 
the many hues where sky and ocean seem to melt 
and blend, in a dream of tender ecstasy, along 
the coast-line between Baia and Naples.' " 

BACHE 

Walter Bache died April, 1888, and the Lon- 
don Figaro gives the following sketch of this 
artist: 

" The awfully sudden death of poor Walter 
Bache on Monday night sent a shock through the 
whole of the London world of music. Some of 
his most intimate friends were present at the final 
popular concert on that evening, but none of 
them knew anything at all of the death. We 
have it on the authority of a member of his fam- 
ily that not even those whom he held most dear 
were in the slightest degree aware that he was in 
any danger. Only a few days ago he was pres- 
ent at a concert in St. James' Hall. But it seems 
he caught a chill. Next day he became worse, 
the cold doubtless settled upon his lungs, and the 

384 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

third day he died. Notification of the death did 
not reach even the daily papers until midnight. 
The obituary writers were then certainly not as- 
sisted by Sir George Grove, who, in the thou- 
sands of pages which form the four gigantic vol- 
umes of his so-called Dictionary of Musicians, 
could not spare a paragraph to narrate the story 
of the life of one who for a quarter of a century 
has been a central figure of English musical 
life, and who from his gentleness, his gifts and 
his son-like affection for his master Liszt will 
shine as a bright picture in the pages of English 
musical history. 

*' We need not go very deeply into the history 
of Walter Bache's life. He was born in June, 
1842, at Birmingham, and was the son of an Uni- 
tarian minister. From his birth till his death 
two special points stand out boldly in his career. 
Until his 'prodigy' brother Edward died in 
1858 he was taught only by Stimpson, of Birm- 
ingham. The death of his brother was the first 
great incident of his life. His own education was 
then more thoroughly cared for than before, and 
he was sent to Leipsic, where, under Plaidy, 
Moscheles, Richter (not the conductor) and 
Hauptman, he was a fellow student of Sullivan, 
Carl Rosa, J. F. Bamett and Franklin Tay- 
lor. All five boys have since become eminent, 
but each one in a totally different line, and, in- 
deed, it may fairly be said that to a great ex- 
tent the Leipsic class of that period held the for- 
tunes of modern musical England. When the 

385 



FRANZ LISZT 

class broke up in 1861 Bache travelled in Italy, 
and in 1862 at his meeting with Liszt occurred 
the second great incident in his career. From 
that time Liszt and Bache were fast friends. But 
Bache to the day of his death never aspired to be 
more than the pupil of his master. 

" Teach he must do for daily bread, but com- 
pose he would not, as he knew he could not sur- 
pass Liszt, although all his savings were devoted 
to the Liszt propaganda. It is not for us, stand- 
ing as we do on the brink of the grave of a good 
man, to determine whether he was right or wrong. 
It will suffice that Walter Bache' s devotion to 
Liszt was one of the most beautiful and the most 
sentimental things of a musically material age. 
Liszt rewarded him on his last visit to London 
by attending a reception which Bache, at great 
expense, gave in his honour at the Grosvenor 
Gallery. Bache is now dead; a blameless and a 
useful life cut short in its very prime." 

RUBINSTEIN 

" Antoine Rubinstein, of whom no one in Paris 
had ever heard before, for this great artist had 
the coquettish temerity to disdain the assistance 
of the press, and no advance notice, none at all, 
you understand, had announced his apparition," 
has written Saint-Saens, " made his appearance in 
his concerto in G major, with orchestra, in the 
lovely Herz concert room, so novel in construc- 
tion and so elegant in aspect, of which one can 
386 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

no more avail himself to-day. Useless to say, 
there was not a single paying hearer in the room, 
but next morning, nevertheless, the artist was 
celebrated, and at the second concert there was 
a prodigious jam. I was there at the second con- 
cert, and at the iSrst notes I was overthrown and 
chained to the car of the conqueror. 

" Concerts followed one another, and I did not 
miss a single one. Some one proposed to present 
me to the great artist, but in spite of his youth 
(he was then twenty-eight), and in spite of his 
reputation for urbanity, he awakened in me a 
horrible timidity; the idea of being near him, of 
addressing a word to him, terrified me profoundly. 
It was only at his second coming to Paris, a year 
later, that I dared to brave his presence. The 
ice between us two was quickly broken. I ac- 
quired his friendship in deciphering upon his 
own piano the orchestral score of his Ocean Sym- 
phony. I read very well then, and his symphonic 
music, written large and black, was not very 
difl&cult to read. 

" From this day a lively sympathy united us; the 
simplicity and evident sincerity of my admira- 
tion touched him. We were together assidu- 
ously, often played together for four hands, sub- 
jected to rude tests the piano which served as 
our field of battle, without regard to the ears of 
our hearers. It was a good time! We made 
music with passion simply for the sake of mak- 
ing it, and we never had enough. I was so happy 
to have encountered an artist who was wholly an 

387 



FRANZ LISZT 

artist, exempt from the littleness which some- 
times makes so bad a barrier around great talent. 
He came back every winter, and always enlarged 
his success and consolidated our friendship." 

VIARDOT- GARCIA 

With the exception of the Bachs, who were 
noted musicians for six generations, and the Vien- 
nese branch of the Strauss dynasty, there is per- 
haps no musical family that affords a more in- 
teresting illustration of heredity in a special tal- 
ent than the Garcias. The elder Garcia, who 
was bom in 1775, was not only a great tenor and 
teacher, but a prolific composer of operas. His 
two famous daughters also became composers, 
as well as singers. Madame Viardot (who died in 
1910) was so lucky as to be able to base her oper- 
ettas on librettos written by Turgenev. Liszt 
said of her that " in all that concerns method and 
execution, feeling and expression, it would be 
hard to find a name worthy to be mentioned with 
that of Malibran's sister," and Wagner was 
amazed and delighted when she sang the Isolde 
music in a whole act of his Tristan at sight. 
She studied the piano with Liszt and played brill- 
iantly. 



388 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 



LISZT AS A FREEMASON 

Memorial tablets have been placed on each of 
the two houses at Weimar in which Liszt used 
to reside. He first lived at the Altenburg and 
later on at the Hofgartnerei. The act of piety 
was undertaken by the Allgemeiner Deutscher 
Musikverein, of which organisation Liszt was the 
president up to the time of his death. 

It has been asserted that Liszt was a Freemason 
after his consecration as a priest. This has been 
contradicted, but the following from the Free- 
masofCs Journal appears to settle the question: 

" On the 31st of July last one of the greatest 
artists and men departed at Bayreuth for the 
eternal east, who had proved himself a worthy 
member of our brotherhood by his deeds through 
his whole eventful life. It is Brother Franz 
Liszt, on whose grave we deposit an acacia 
branch. Millions of florins Franz Liszt had 
earned on his triumphal career — for others. His 
art, his time, his life, were given to those who 
claimed it. Thus he journeyed, a hving embodi- 
ment of the St. Simonism to which he once be- 
longed, through his earthly pilgrimage. Brother 
Franz Liszt was admitted into the brotherhood 
in the year 1844, at the lodge 'Unity' ('Zur Einig- 
keit'), in Frankfort-on-the-Main, by George 
Kloss, with the composer, W. Ch. Speyer as wit- 
ness, and in the presence of Felix von Lichnow- 
sky. He was promoted to the second degree 

389 



FRANZ LISZT 

in a lodge at Berlin, and elected master in 1870, 
as member of the lodge 'Zur Einigkeit,' in 
Budapest. Since 1845 he was also honorary 
member of the L. Modestia cum Libertate at 
Zurich. If there ever was a Freemason in favour 
with Pope Pius IX it was Franz Liszt, created 
abb^ in 1865 in Rome." 

A LISZT SON? 

A letter from Paris to the Vienna Monday Re- 
view says that in the salon of the Champ de Mars 
a picture is on exhibition, called Italian Bagpi- 
per. While its artistic points are hardly worthy 
of special mention the striking resemblance of 
this work by Michael Vallet to the facial traits of 
Franz Liszt puzzled the jury not a little, and will 
doubtless create much interest among the visitors 
of the gallery. The model for the subject was 
a boat-hand of Genoa named Angelo Giocati- 
Buonaventi, fifty-six years of age. It was while 
strolling about the Genoese wharves that Vallet 
noticed the sparse form of Angelo, whose beard- 
less face recalled to him at once Franz Liszt's. 

Angelo consented willingly to pose for the 
piper, but all questions as to his family extrac- 
tion were answered with a laconic Chi lo sa? 
Vallet, by making inquiries in other directions, 
learned that Angelo came originally from Albano. 
He took a trip to that place, and after the lapse 
of a few days wrote a friend in Paris: "Found! 
Found! The surmise regarding my Angelo is 

390 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

correct. This boathand is without any doubt 
a son of Countess d'Agoult, whose relations with 
Franz Liszt are known throughout the world, and 
was born here in the year 1834. I found a pic- 
ture of the countess in the home of a sister-in- 
law of a lately deceased peasant woman, Giocati- 
Buonaventi. This latter was the nurse and later 
the woman who had the motherly care of my 
Angelo. . . ." 

It happened that at the same time, as if to 
corroborate Vallet's statement, the Review de 
Paris published an interesting correspondence 
between Georges Sand and Countess d'Agoult. 
The latter writes from Albano under date of 
June 9, T.839: "It was our intention to present 
our respects to the Sultan this summer, but our 
trip to Constantinople came to naught. A little 
fellow that I had the caprice to bring here into 
the world prevented the carrying out of the plan. 
The boy promises to be a beauty. One of the 
handsomest women of Palestrina furnishes the 
milk for his nourishment. It is to be regretted 
that Franz has again one of his fits of melan- 
choly. [She speaks of Liszt repeatedly in this let- 
ter, giving him the pet name cretin.] The thought 
of being father to three little children seems to de- 
press his mind. . ." 

The three children being accounted for, the 
story of Vallet regarding Angelo has no founda- 
tion in fact, and we would not even mention it 
if it was not m.aking the rounds of the Conti- 
nental press. 

391 



FRANZ LISZT 



LISZT ON VIRTUOSITY 

In these days of virtuosity let us hear what 
Liszt, the master of all virtuosi, says: 

"What, then, makes the virtuoso on an instru- 
ment?" asks the master, and we gain on this 
occasion the most comprehensive and the most 
decisive information on the point ourselves. Is 
he really a mere spiritless machine? Do his 
hands only attend to the oflSce of a double winch 
on a street organ? Has he to dispense with his 
brain and with his feelings in his mechanical exe- 
cution of the prescribed performance? Has he 
to supply the ear only with a photograph of the 
object before him? Such representations bring 
him to the somewhat proud remark: "We know 
too well how many amongst those who enjoy 
great praise, unable to translate even to the let- 
ter the original that is on the desk before them, 
degrade its sense, carrying on the art as a trade, 
and not understanding even the trade itself. How- 
ever victorious a counterfeit may be, it does not 
destroy the power of the real authors and poet 
virtuosi; they are for those who are 'called' to 
an extent of which a degraded public, under an 
illegitimate and ignorant 'dominion,' has no 
idea. You hear the rolling of the thunder, the 
roaring of the lion, the far-spreading sound of 
man's strength. For the words virtuosity and 
virtus are derived from the Latin 'vir'; the exe- 
cution of both is an act of manly power," says 

392 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

he, and characterises now his 'artist' as follows: 
"The virtuoso is not a mason, who, with the 
chisel in his hand, faithfully and conscientiously 
cuts his stone after the design of the architect. 
He is not a passive tool that reproduces feeling 
and thought without adding himself. He is not 
the more or less experienced reader of works that 
have no margin for his notes, and which make 
no paragraph necessary between the lines. 
These spiritedly written musical works are in 
reality for the virtuoso only the tragic and touch- 
ing putting-in-scene of feelings; he is called upon 
to let these speak, weep, sing, sigh — to render 
these to his own consciousness. He creates in 
this way like the composer himself, for he must 
embrace in himself those passions which he, in 
their complete brilliancy, has to bring to light. 
He breathes life into the lethargic body, infuses 
it with fire, and enlivens it with the pulse of 
gracefulness and charm. He changes the clayey 
form into a living being, penetrating it with the 
spark which Prometheus snatched from the flash 
of Jupiter. He must make this form wander in 
transparent ether; he must arm it with a thou- 
sand winged arms; he must unfold scent and 
blossom and breathe into it the breath of life. 
Of all artists the virtuoso reveals perhaps most 
immediately the overpowering forces of the god 
who, in glowing embraces of the proud muse, al- 
lures every hidden secret." 



393 



FRANZ LISZT 
LISZT'S FAVOURITE PIANO 

LETTER FROM DR. FRANZ LISZT 

"Weimar, November, 1883. 
"Mr. Steinway: 

" Most Esteemed Sir: Again I owe you many 
and special thanks. The new Steinway Grand is 
a glorious masterpiece in power, sonority, singing 
quality, and perfect harmonic effects, affording 
delight even to my old piano-weary fingers. Ever 
continuing success remains a beautiful attribute 
of the world-renowned firm of Steinway & Sons. 
In your letter, highly esteemed sir, you mention 
some new features in the Grand Piano, viz., the 
vibrating body being bent into form out of one 
continuous piece, and that portion of the strings 
heretofore lying dormant being now a part of 
and thus incorporated as partial tones into the 
foundation tones. Their utility is emphatically 
guaranteed by the name of the inventor. Owing 
to my ignorance of the mechanism of piano con- 
struction I can but praise the magnificent result 
in the 'volume and quality of sound.' In re- 
lation to the use of your welcome tone-sustain- 
ing pedal I inclose two examples: Danse des 
Sylphes, by Berlioz, and No. 3 of my Consola- 
tions. I have to-day noted down only the intro- 
ductory bars of both pieces, with this proviso, 
that, if you desire it, I shall gladly complete the 
whole transcription, with exact adaptation of 
your tone-sustaining pedal. 

" Very respectfully and gratefully, 

"F. Liszt." 

394 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

LISZT AS TEACHER 

"While Liszt has been immensely written 
about as pianist and composer, sufficient stress 
has not been laid upon what the world owes him 
as a teacher of pianoforte playing," writes Amy 
Fay. "During his life-time Liszt despised the 
name of ' piano- teacher,' and never suffered him- 
self to be regarded as such, * I am no Professeur 
du Piano,' he scornfully remarked one day in 
the class at Weimar, and if any one approached 
him as a 'teacher' he instantly put the unfor- 
tunate offender outside of his door. 

" I was once a witness of his haughty treatment 
of a Leipsic pupil of the fair sex, who came to 
him one day and asked him * to give her a few les- 
sons.' He instantly drew himself up and re- 
plied in the most cutting tone: 

" *I do not give lessons on the piano; and,' he 
added with a bow, in which grace and sarcasm 
were combined, 'you really don't need me as a 
teacher.' 

" There was a dead silence for a minute, and 
then the poor girl, not knowing what to do or say, 
backed herself out of the room. Liszt, turning to 
the class, said: 

" 'That is the way people fly in my face, by 
dozens! They seem to think I am there only to 
give them lessons on the piano. I have to get 
rid of them, for I am no Professor of the Piano. 
This girl did not play badly, either,' concluded he, 
half ashamed of himself for his treatment of her. 

395 



FRANZ LISZT 

" For my part, I was awfully sorry for the girl, 
and I was tempted to run after her and bring her 
back, and intercede with Liszt to take her; but 
I was a new-comer myself, and did not quite dare 
to brave the lion in his den. Later, I would have 
done it, for the girl was really very talented, and 
it was a mere want of tact on her part in her man- 
ner of approaching Liszt which precipitated her 
defeat. She brought him Chopin's F minor con- 
certo, and played the middle movement of it, 
Liszt standing up and thundering out the orches- 
tral accompaniment, tremolo, in the bass of the 
piano. I wondered it did not put the girl out, 
but she persisted bravely to the end, and did 
not break down, as I expected she would. 

"She came at an inopportune moment, for 
there were only five of us in the room, and we 
were having a most entertaining time with Liszt, 
that lovely June afternoon, and he did not feel 
disposed to be interrupted by a stranger. In 
spite of himself, he could not help doing justice 
to her talent, saying: 'She did not play at all 
badly.' This, however, the poor girl never knew. 
She probably wept briny tears of disappoint- 
ment when she returned to her hotel. 

"While Liszt resented being called a 'piano- 
teacher,' he nevertheless was one, in the higher 
sense of the term. It was the diflFerence between 
the scientific college professor of genius and the 
ordinary school-teacher which distinguished him 
from the rank and file of musical instructors. 

" Nobody could be more appreciative of talent 

396 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

than Liszt was — even of talent which was not of 
the first order — and I was often amazed to see the 
trouble he would give himself with some indus- 
trious young girl who had worked hard over 
big compositions like Schumann's Carnival, or 
Chopin's sonatas. At one of the musical gath- 
erings at the Frauleins' Stahr (music-teachers in 
Weimar, to whose simple home Liszt liked to 
come) I have heard him accompany on a second 
piano Chopin's E minor concerto, which was 
technically well played, by a girl of nineteen from 
the Stuttgart Conservatory. 

"It was a contrast to see this young girl, with 
her rosy cheeks, big brown eyes, and healthy, 
everyday sort of talent, at one piano, and Liszt, 
the colossal artist, at the other. 

" He was then sixty-three years old, but the fire 
of youth burned in him still. Like his successor, 
Paderewski, Liszt sat erect, and never bent his 
proud head over the 'stupid keys,' as he called 
them, even deprecating his pupils' doing so. He 
was very picturesque, with his lofty and ideal 
forehead thrown back, and his magnificent iron- 
gray hair falling in thick masses upon his neck. 
The most divine expression came over his face 
when he began to play the opening measures of 
the accompaniment, and I shall never forget the 
concentration and intensity he put into them if 
I live to be a hundred! The nobility and abso- 
lute 'selflessness' of Liszt's playing had to be 
heard to be understood. There was something 
about his tone that made you weep, it was so 
apajt from earth and so ethereal!" 

397 



FRANZ LISZT 

VON BULOW CRITICISES 

"I look forward eagerly," Biilow wrote to a 
friend, " to your Chopin, that immortal romanti- 
cist par excellence, whose mazurkas alone are a 
monument more enduring than metal. Never 
will this great, deep, sincere, and at the same time 
tender and passionate poet become antiquated. 
On the contrary, as musical culture increases, 
he will appear in a much brighter light than 
to-day, when only the popular Chopin is in 
vogue, whereas the more aristocratic, manly 
Chopin, the poet of the last two scherzi, the 
last two ballads, the barcarole, the polonaise- 
fantaisie, the nocturnes, Op. 9, No. 3; Op. 48; 
Op. 55, No. 2, etc., still awaits the interpreters 
who have entered into his spirit and among whom, 
if God grants me life, I should like to have the 
pride of counting myself. 

" You know from my introduction to the etudes 
how highly I esteem Chopin. In his pieces we 
find Lenau, Byron, Musset, Lamartine, and at 
the same time all sorts of heathen Apollo priests. 
You shall learn through me to love him dearly. 

"We must grant Chopin the great distinction 
of having in his works fixed the boundaries be- 
tween piano and orchestral music, which other 
romanticists, notably Robert Schumann, con- 
fused, to the detriment of both. 

" There are two Chopins — one an aristocrat, 
the other democratic." 

Concerning the mazurka, Op. 50, No. i, he 

398 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

said : " In this mazurka there is dancing, singing, 
gesticulating. 

" Chopin's pupils issued in Paris an edition of 
his works. Chopin's pupils are, however, as 
unreliable as the girls who pose as Liszt's pupils. 
Use the Klindworth edition. 

"Liszt's ballads and polonaises have proved 
most strikingly that it was possible after Chopin 
to write ballads and polonaises. In the polo- 
naises in particular Liszt opened many new points 
of view for the widening and spiritualising of that 
form, quite apart from the individual peculiar- 
ities of his productions, which put in place of the 
national Polish colour an entirely new element, 
thus making possible the filling out of this form 
with new contents." 

In one of his essays Biilow indignantly attacks 
the current notion that Liszt's pieces are all un- 
playable except by concert pianists: "Some day 
I shall make a list of all of Liszt's pieces for piano 
which most amateurs will find much easier to mas- 
ter and digest than the chaff of Thalberg or the 
wheat of Henselt or Chopin. But it seems that 
the name of Liszt as composer for the piano has 
become associated inseparably with the words * in- 
executable,' and making ' colossal demands.' It is 
a harmless prejudice of the ignorant, like many 
others, but for all that none the less objectionable. 

"Liszt does not represent virtuosity as dis- 
tinguished from music — very far from it. 

"The Liszt ballade in B minor is equal in po- 
etic content to Chopin's ballades." 

399 



FRANZ LISZT 

Concerning Liszt's Irrlichter and Gnomenrei- 
gen, he said: "I wish the inspired master had 
written more pieces like these, which are as per- 
fect as any song without words by Mendelssohn." 

WEINGARTNER AND LISZT 

Weingartner's reminiscences of Liszt throw 
many interesting lights on the personality of that 
great composer and greatest of teachers. The 
gathering of famous artists at his house are well 
described, and his own mannerisms excellently 
portrayed. His playing was always marked by 
the ripest perfection of touch. He did not in- 
cline to the impetuous power of his youthful days, 
but sat almost without motion before the key- 
board. His hands glided quietly over the keys, 
and produced the warm, magnetic stream of tone 
almost without effort. 

His criticism of others was short, but always to 
the point. His praise would be given heartily, 
and without reserve, while blame was always 
concealed in some kindly circumlocution. Once, 
when a pretty young lady played a Chopin bal- 
lade in execrable fashion, he could not contain 
ejaculations of disgust as he walked excitedly 
about the room. At the end, however, he went 
to her kindly, laid his hand gently on her hair, 
kissed her forehead, and murmured, "Marry 
soon, dear child — adieu." 

Another young lady once turned the tables on 
the composer. It was the famous Ingeborg von 
400 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

Bronsart, who came to him when eighteen years 
old, in the full bloom of her fair Northern beauty. 
Liszt asked her to play, inwardly fearing that 
this was to be one more of the petted incompe- 
tents. But when she played a Bach fugue for 
him, with the utmost brilliancy, he could not con- 
tain his admiration. "Wonderful," he cried, 
" but you certainly didn't look like it." " I should 
hope I didn't look like a Bach fugue," was the 
swift retort, and the two became lifelong friends. 

AS ORGAN COMPOSER 

Liszt's importance in this field is not over- 
looked. 

"In Germany, the land of seriousness, organ 
music had acquired a character so heavy and so 
uniformly contrapuntal that, by the middle of 
last century, almost any decently trained Capell- 
meister could produce a sonata dull enough to 
be considered first-rate. There were, doubtless, 
many protests in the shape of unorthodox works 
which left no mark; but two great influences, 
which are the earliest we need notice, came in the 
shape of Liszt's Fantasia on the name of Bach 
and Julius Reubke's Sonata on the Ninety-fourth 
Psalm. Without minute analysis we may say 
that the former, though not an entirely great 
work, was at all events something entirely new. 
It showed the possibility of freedom of form with- 
out shapelessness, of fairly good counterpoint 
without dulness, of the adaptation of piano tech- 
401 



FRANZ LISZT 

nic to the organ in a way never before attempted; 
and the whole work, brilliant and effective, 
never outraged in the smallest degree the natural 
dignity of the instrument." 

LISZT'S TECHNIC 

Rudolf Breithaupt thus wrote of the technical 
elements in Liszt's playing in Die Musik: 

" What we hear of Liszt's technic in his best 
years, from 1825 to 1850, resembles a fairy tale. 
As artists, Liszt and Paganini have almost be- 
come legendary personages. In analysing Liszt's 
command of the piano we find that it consists 
first and foremost in the revelation of a mighty 
personality rather than in the achievement of 
unheard of technical feats. Though his admirers 
will not believe it, technic has advanced since 
his day. Tausig excelled him in exactness and 
brilliancy; Von Biilow was a greater master of 
interpretation: Rubinstein went beyond him in 
power and in richness of tone-colour, through 
his consummate use of the pedal. Even con- 
temporary artists, e.g., Carreno, d' Albert, Busoni, 
and in part, Godowsky, are technically equal to 
Liszt in his best days, and in certain details, ow- 
ing to the improved mechanism of the piano, 
even his superior. 

" It is time to do away with the fetich of Liszt's 

technic. It was mighty as an expression of his 

potent personality, mighty in its domination of all 

instrumental forms, mighty in its full command 

402 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

of all registers and positions. But I believe that 
if the Liszt of former days — not the old man 
whose fingers did not always obey his will, but 
the young, vigorous Titan of the early nineteenth 
century — were to play for us now, we should be 
as little edified as we should probably be by the 
singing of Jenny Lind or by the playing of Paga- 
nini. Exaggeration finds no more fruitful field 
than the chronicling of the feats of noted artists. 

" We hear, for instance, much of Liszt's hand, 
of its vampire-like clutch, of its uncanny, spidery 
power of extension — as a child I firmly believed 
that he could reach two octaves without diffi- 
culty. These stories are all fables. His fingers 
were long and regular, the thumb abnormally 
long; a more than usual flexibility of muscles 
and sinews gave him the power of spanning a 
twelfth. Klindworth tells us that he did some 
things with his left thumb that one was led to be- 
lieve it twice the length of an ordinary thumb. 

" What chiefly distinguished Liszt's technic was 
the absolute freedom of his arms. The secret 
lay in the unconstrained swinging movement of 
the arm from the raised shoulder, the bringing 
out of the tone through the impact of the full 
elastic mass on the keys, a thorough command 
and use of the freely rolling forearm. He had the 
gift for which all strove, the rhythmic dance of 
the members concerned — the springing arm, the 
springing hand, the springing finger. He played 
by weight — by a swinging and a hurling of weight 
from a loosened shoulder that had nothing in com- 

403 



FRANZ LISZT 

mon with what is known as finger manipulation. 
It was by a direct transfer of strength from back 
and shoulders to fingers, which explains the high 
position of hands and fingers. 

" At the time of his most brilliant period as 
virtuoso he paid no attention to technic and its 
means; his temperament was the reverse of ana- 
lytical — what he wished to do he did without 
concerning himself as to the how or why. Later 
in life he did attempt to give some practical sug- 
gestions in technic, but these were of but doubt- 
ful worth. A genius is not always to be trusted 
when it comes to theoretical explanation of what 
he does more by instinct than by calculation. 

" His power over an audience was such that 
he had only to place his hands on the keyboard 
to awaken storms of applause. Even his pauses 
had life and movement, for his hands spoke in 
animated gesture, while his Jupiter-like head, 
with its mane of flowing hair, exercised an almost 
hypnotic efifect on his entranced listeners. 

" From a professional stand-point his execution 
was not always flawless. His great rival, Thal- 
berg, had greater equality of touch in scales and 
runs; in what was then known as the jeu perle 
(literally, pearly playing) his art was also finer. 
Liszt frequently struck false notes — but ears 
were closed to such faults; his hearers appeared 
not to notice them. These spots on the sun are 
mentioned only to put an end once for all to the 
foolish stories that are still current about Liszt's 
wonderful technic. This greatest of all repro- 
404 




Liszt's Hand 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

ductive artists was but a man, and often erred, 
though in a large and characteristic fashion. 

" Liszt's technic is the typical technic of the 
modem grand piano (Hammerklavier). He knew 
well the nature of the instrument, its old-fash- 
ioned single-tone effects on the one hand, its 
full harmonic power and polyphonic capabilities 
on the other. While to his predecessors it was 
simply a medium for musical purposes, under his 
hands it was a means of expression for himself, 
a revelation of his ardent temperament. In com- 
parison with the contracted five-finger positions 
of the classical technic, its broken chords and 
arpeggios, Liszt's technic had the advantage of 
a fuller, freer flow, of greater fulness of tone and 
increased brilliancy. Chopin has discovered more 
original forms; his style of writing is far more 
delicate and graceful; his individual note is cer- 
tainly more musical, but his technic is special 
in its character; it lacks the broad sweep that 
gives Liszt's technic its peculiar freedom and 
adaptability to the instrument. 

" Take Schumann and Brahms also, and com- 
pare their manner of writing for the piano with 
Liszt's. Both have written much that is noble 
and beautiful considered as music, but so clumsily 
put on the instrument that it is unduly difficult 
for the player. With Liszt, however, no matter 
what the difficulty of the means may be, they are 
always precisely adapted to the end in view, and 
everything he writes sounds well. It is no merely 
theoretical combination, but meant to be played 

405 



FRANZ LISZT 

on the piano, and is in strict accordance with 
the nature of the instrument. The player finds 
nothing laboriously put together and requiring 
study for its disentanglement. Liszt considers 
the structure of the hand, and assigns it tasks 
suited to its capabilities. 

" Among the distinctively original features of 
Liszt's technic are the bold outline, the large 
form, the imitative effects of organ and clavier, 
the orchestral timbre it imparts to the piano. We 
thank him also for the use of the thumb in the 
declamation of pathetic cantilena, for a breadth 
of melodic characterisation which resembles that 
of the horn and violoncello, for the imitation of 
brass instruments, for the great advance in all 
sorts of tremolos, trills and vibratos, which serve 
to give colour and intensity to moments of climax. 
His finger passages are not merely empty runs, 
but are like high lights in a picture; his cadenzas 
fairly sparkle like comet trains and are never 
introduced for display alone. They are prepara- 
tory, transitional or conclusive in character; they 
point contrasts, they heighten dramatic climaxes. 
His scales and arpeggios have nothing in common 
with the stiff monotony of the Czemy school of 
playing; they express feeling, they give emotional 
variety, they embellish a melody with ineffable 
grace. He often supplies them with thirds and 
sixths, which fill out their meagre outlines and 
furnish support to hands and fingers. 

" In his octave technic Liszt has embodied all 
the elementary power and wildness of his nature. 
406 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

His octaves rage in chromatic and diatonic scales, 
in broken chords and arpeggios, up and down, 
hither and thither, like zigzag flashes of lightning. 
Here he is seen at his boldest, e. g., in his Orage, 
Totentanz, Mazeppa, Don Juan fantasia, VI 
Rhapsody, etc. In the trill, too, he has given us 
such novel forms as the simple trill with single 
fingers of each hand, the trill in double thirds 
in both hands, the octave trill — all serving to 
intensify the introduction or close of the salient 
divisions of a composition. 

" From Liszt dates the placing of a melody in 
the fullest and most ringing register of the piano 
— that corresponding to the tenor or baritone 
compass of voice; also the division of the accom- 
paniment between the two hands and the exten- 
sion of hand-crossing technic. To him we owe 
exactness in the fixing of tempo, the careful des- 
ignation of signs for dynamics and expression, 
the use of three staves instead of two for the sake 
of greater clearness of notation, as well as the 
modern installation of the pedal. 

" In short, Liszt is not only the creator of the 
art of piano playing as we have it to-day, but 
his is the strongest musical influence in modern 
musical culture. But granting this, those think- 
ers who declare this influence not unmixed with 
harm are not altogether wrong. It is not the 
fault of genius, however, that undesirable conse- 
quences follow in its wake. It is also my opin- 
ion that it will do no harm to retrace our steps 
and revive the more simple times when there was 
less piano playing and more music." 

407 



FRANZ LISZT 



BUSONI 



Busoni is preparing a complete edition of 
Liszt's compositions, to be published by Breit- 
kopf & Hartel, Concerning the studies, which 
are to appear in three volumes, he says: 

" These etudes, a work which occupied Franz 
Liszt from childhood on up to manhood, we be- 
lieve should be put at the head of his piano com- 
positions. There are three reasons for this: the 
first is the fact that the etudes were the first of 
his works to be published; the second is that 
in Liszt's own catalogue of his works (Themat. 
Verz. Br. H. 1855), he puts the etudes at the very 
beginning; and the third and most patent is that 
these works in their entirety reflect as do no 
others Liszt's pianistic personality in the bud, 
shoot, and flower. 

" These fifty-eight piano pieces alone would 
serve to place Liszt in the ranks of the great- 
est piano composers since Beethoven — Chopin, 
Schumann, Alkan, and Brahms; but proof of his 
superiority over these is found in his complete 
works, of which the etudes are only a small part. 

" They afford a picture of him in manifold lights 
and poses, giving us an opportunity to know and 
observe him in the different phases of his char- 
acter: the diabolic as well as the religious — 
those who acknowledge God do not make light 
of the devil — the refined and the animated; now 
as an illustrative interpreter of every style and 
again as a marvellous transformation artist who 
408 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

can with convincing mimicry don the costume 
of any country. This collection consists of a 
work for piano which contains within its circum- 
ference every phase, nation, and epoch of musi- 
cal expression from Palestrina to Parsifal, where- 
by Liszt shows himself as a creator of twofold 
character — both subjective and objective." 

LISZT AS A PIANOFORTE WRITER 

" Nothing is easier than to estimate Liszt the 
pianist, nothing more difficult than to estimate 
Liszt the composer. As to Liszt the pianist, old 
and young, conservatives and progressives, not 
excepting the keyboard specialists, are perfectly 
agreed that he was unique, unsurpassed, and un- 
surpassable," says Professor Niecks. "As to Liszt 
the composer, on the other hand, opinions differ 
widely and multifariously — from the attribution 
of superlative genius to the denial of the least 
talent. This diversity arises from partisanship, 
individuality of taste, and the various concep- 
tions formed of the nature of creative power. 
Those, however, who call Liszt a composer with- 
out talent confess themselves either ignorant of 
his achievements, or incapable of distinguishing 
good from bad and of duly apportioning praise 
and blame. Those, on the other hand, who call 
Liszt a creative genius should not omit to observe 
and state that his genius was qualitatively un- 
like the genius of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, 
Mendelssohn, and Schumann. With him the 
409 



FRANZ LISZT 

creative impulse was, in the main, and, as a 
rule, an intellectual impulse. With the great 
masters mentioned, the impulse was of a general 
origin, all the faculties co-operating. While with 
them the composition was always spontaneous, 
being, however great the travail, a birth, not a 
making; with Liszt it was often reflective, the 
solution of a problem, an experiment, a caprice, 
a defiance of conventional respectability, or a 
device for the dumfounding and electrification 
of the gaping multitude. In short, Liszt was to 
a larger extent inventive than creative. The 
foregoing remarks do not pretend to be more 
than a suggestive attempt at explaining the in- 
explicable differences of creative power. That 
Liszt could be spontaneous and in the best sense 
creative, he has proved by whole compositions, 
and more frequently by parts of compositions. 
That has to be noted; as well as that his love of 
experimenting and scorn for the familiar, not to 
mention the commonplace, led him often to turn 
his back on the beautiful and to embrace the 
ugly. 

"As a composer of pianoforte music, Liszt's 
merits are more generally acknowledged than as 
a composer of any other kind. Here indeed his 
position is a commanding one. We should be 
obliged to regard him with respect, admiration, and 
gratitude, even if his compositions were aestheti- 
cally altogether a failure. For they incorporate 
an original pianoforte style, a style that won new 
resources from the instrument, and opened new 
410 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

possibilities to the composer for it, and the player 
on it. The French Revolution of 1830 aroused 
Liszt from a state of lethargy. A year after 
this political revolution, there occurred an event 
that brought about in him an artistic revolu- 
tion. This event was the appearance of Paga- 
nini in Paris. The wonderful performances of the 
unique violin virtuoso revealed to him new ideas. 
He now began to form that pianoforte style which 
combined, as it were, the excellences of all the 
other instruments, individually and collectively. 
Liszt himself called the process " the orchestra- 
tion of the pianoforte." But before the trans- 
formation could be consummated, other influ- 
ences had to be brought to bear on the architect. 
The influence of Chopin, who appeared in Paris 
soon after Paganini, must have been great, but 
was too subtle and partial to be easily gauged. 
It is different with Berlioz, whose influence on 
Liszt was palpable and general, affecting every 
branch of his art-practice. Thalberg has at least 
the merit of having by his enormous success in 
1836 stimulated Liszt to put forth his whole 
strength. 

" The vast mass of Liszt's pianoforte composi- 
tions is divisible first into two classes — the en- 
tirely original compositions, and the composi- 
tions based to a more or less extent on foreign 
matter. The latter class consist of transcriptions 
of songs (Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, 
Franz, etc.), symphonies and overtures (Berlioz, 
Beethoven, Rossini, Wagner, etc.), and operatic 
411 



FRANZ LISZT 

themes (from Rossini and Bellini to Wagner and 
Verdi), and of fifteen Hungarian rhapsodies; 
the former consists of studies, brilliant virtuosic 
pieces, musical poems, secular and sacred, pic- 
turesque, lyrical, etc. (such as Annies de Peler- 
inage. Harmonies, poetiques et religieuses. Con- 
solations, the legends, St. Francois d' Assise: La 
Predication aux oiseaux, and St. Francois de 
Paule marchant sur les flots, etc.), and one 
work in sonata form, but not the conventional so- 
nata form. Although not unfrequently leaving 
something to be desired in the matter of discre- 
tion, his transcriptions of songs are justly famous 
masterpieces. Marvellous in the reproduction 
of orchestral effects are the transcriptions of 
symphonies and overtures. The operatic tran- 
scriptions (Illustrations, Fantasies), into which 
the geistreiclie Liszt put a great deal of his own, 
do not now enjoy the popularity they once en- 
joyed; the present age has lost some of its love 
for musical fireworks and the tricking-out and 
transmogrification by an artist of other artists' 
ideas. The Hungarian Rhapsodies, on the other 
hand, which are still more fantasias on the adopted 
matter than the operatic transcriptions, continue 
to be favourites of the virtuosi and the public. 

" As to the original compositions, they are very 
unequal in artistic value. Many of them, how- 
ever, are undoubtedly of the greatest beauty, and 
stand whatever test may be applied to them. 
No one would think of numbering with these ex- 
quisite perfect things the imposing sonata. It 
412 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

cannot be placed by the side of the sonatas of 
Beethoven, whose ideal and formative power 
Liszt lacked. Nevertheless it is impossible for 
the unprejudiced not to recognise in it a noble 
effort of a highly-gifted and ardently-striving 
mind. Technically, instead of three or four self- 
contained separate movements, we have there a 
long uninterrupted series of continuous move- 
ments, in which, however, we can distinguish 
three complexes corresponding to the three move- 
ments of the orthodox sonata. The Andante 
Sostenuto and Quasi Adagio form the simpler 
middle complex. Although some of the fea- 
tures of the orthodox sonata structure are dis- 
cernible in Liszt's works, most of them are ab- 
sent from it or irrecognisably veiled. The most 
novel and characteristic features are the unity 
and the evolution by metamorphosis of the 
thematic material — that is to say, the motives 
of the first complex reappear in the following 
ones, and are metamorphosed not only in the 
later but also in the first. Nothing could char- 
acterise the inequality of Liszt's compositions 
better than the fact that it is possible to draw up 
a programme of them wholly irreproachable, 
admirable, and delightful, and equally possible 
to draw up one wholly objectionable, abhorrent, 
and distressful. All in all, Liszt is a most re- 
markable and interesting and, at the same time, 
an epoch-making personality, one that will re- 
main for long yet a living force in music, and for 
ever a striking figure in the history of the art." 

413 



FRANZ LISZT 



SMETANA 



Frederick Smetana, the greatest of Bohemian 
composers, founded in the year 1848 the insti- 
tute which he conducted for the teaching of the 
piano in Prague. In this year it was that the 
composition for piano named Morceaux Car- 
acteristiques, he dedicated to Liszt (which dedi- 
cation Liszt accepted with the greatest cordial- 
ity, writing him a most complimentary letter), 
was the means of his becoming personally ac- 
quainted with Liszt, whom he until this time 
only knew by report. He obtained for the young 
composer an introduction to the publisher Kist- 
ner, in Leipsic, who brought out his six piano 
pieces called Stammbuchblaetter. 

RIMSKY-KORSAKOFF 

" Of all the Slav composers Rimsky-Korsakofif 
is perhaps the most charming, and as a musician 
the most remarkable," writes the music-critic of 
the Mercure de France. "He has not been 
equalled by any of his compatriots in the art of 
handling timbres, and in this art the Russian 
school has been long distinguished. In this re- 
spect he is descended directly from Liszt, whose 
orchestra he adopted and from whom he bor- 
rowed many an old effect. His inspiration is 
sometimes exquisite; the inexhaustible transfor- 
mation of his themes is always most intelligent 
414 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

or interesting. As all the other Russians, he sins 
in the development of ideas through the lack of 
cohesion, of sustained enchainment, and especi- 
ally through the lack of true polyphony. The 
influence of Berlioz and of Liszt is not less strik- 
ing in his manner of composition. Sadko comes 
from Liszt's Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, 
Antar and Scheherazade at the same time from 
Harold and the Faust symphony. The Oriental 
monody seems to throw a spell over Rimsky- 
Korsakoff which spreads over all his works a sort 
of 'local colour,' underlined here by the chosen 
subjects. In Scheherazade, it must be said, the 
benzoin of Arabia sends forth here and there 
the sickening empyreuma of the pastilles of the 
harem. In the second and the third movements 
of Antar the composer has approached nearest 
true musical superiority. The descriptive, almost 
dramatic, intention is realised there with an un- 
usual sureness, and, if the brand of Liszt remains 
ineffaceable, the ease of construction, the breadth 
and the co-ordinated progressions of combina- 
tions mark a mastery and an originality that are 
rarely found among the composers of the far 
North, and that no one has ever possessed among 
the 'five.' 

"Chopin's well-known saying in regard to 
Liszt, when he heard that the latter was going 
to write a notice of his concert, tells more," says 
Professor Niecks, " than whole volumes. These 
are the words: 'U me donnera un petit royaume 

415 



FRANZ LISZT 

dans son empire,' which were said to Ernest 
Legouvd by Chopin. Now here is another side- 
light on Chopin and his opinion of the great 
virtuoso. He is referring to Liszt's notice of 
some concert, apparently at Cologne. He is 
amused at the 'fifteen hundred men counted, at 
the president of the Phil [harmonic] and his car- 
riage, etc.,' and he feels sure that Liszt will 
' some day be a deputy, or king of Abyssinia, or 
of the Congo; his melodies (themes), however, 
will rest alongside the two volumes of German 
poetry' — two volumes which did not seem des- 
tined, apparently, to achieve immortality." 

HIS PORTRAITS 

Many artists have immortalised "that profile 
of ivory." They are, Ingres who was a friend 
of Liszt, and of whom he always had a tender 
recollection; in his best days it was Kaulbach 
and Lenbach. William Kaulbach's portrait is 
celebrated for the grand look; the chivalrous 
and fine-gentleman character of the artist is ex- 
pressed in it in a masterly way. Not less remark- 
able is a marble bust by the famous Bartolini, 
souvenir of the master's visit to Florence in 1838. 
The painter Leyraud shows us Liszt at the time 
when he took orders. He depicts him as a thin, 
thoughtful man, leaning against a piano, his 
arms crossed, and looking at the world from the 
height of his wisdom. David d'Angers has made 
a very fine medallion of him. "We have several 

416 




Last Picture of Liszt, 1886, Aged Seventy-five Years 



LISZT PUPILS AND LISZTIANA 

portraits by Kriehuber, one, among others — 
Liszt in a travelling cloak — drawn hurriedly while 
Liszt, surrounded by friends seeing him oflF, was 
shaking hands all round. Tilgner sculptured a 
bust of him two years ago at Vienna; and Baron 
Joukovsky painted his portrait. Our great Mun- 
kacsy, who beautified the last moments of the 
master's life, painted him seated at the piano. 
Boehm, the celebrated Hungarian sculptor, has 
just made his bust in London. Then we have 
at Budapest, at the entrance to the opera house, 
a splendid statue, chiselled by our young ar- 
tist Strobl. It wants finish, but on the other 
hand admirably renders Liszt's features and ex- 
pression. And lastly, we have one by Wolkof , on 
the stove of a friend of Liszt's," adds Janka Wohl. 
There are so many more that they defy classifi- 
cation. The Munkkcsy is not attractive, but 
the sketch made by Ingres at Rome in 1839 is a 
very happy interpretation of the still youthful 
virtuoso. The Kriehuber lithograph is a famous 
study of perennial interest. Then there are the 
portraits by the American Healey and the Italian 
Stella, excellent though not master-works. In 
the Lenbach portrait the eyes look like incan- 
descent grapes. 



417 



IX 

MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

Artistic pianoforte playing is no longer rare. 
The once jealously guarded secrets of the mas- 
ters have become the property of conservatories. 
Self-playing instruments perform technical mira- 
cles, and are valuable inasmuch as they interest 
a number of persons who would otherwise avoid 
music as an ineluctable mystery. Furthermore, 
the unerring ease with which these machines de- 
spatch the most appalling difficulties has turned 
the current toward what is significant in a musi- 
cal performance: touch, phrasing, interpretation. 
While a child's hand may set spinning the Don 
Juan Fantasie of Liszt, no mechanical appliance 
yet contrived can play a Chopin ballade or the 
Schumann concerto as they should be played. 

I mention purposely these cunning inven- 
tions because I do not think that they have 
harmed the public interest in pianoforte recitals; 
rather have they stimulated it. Never before 
has the standard of execution and interpretation 
been so high. The giant wave of virtuosity that 
broke over Europe in the middle of the nineteenth 
century has not yet receded. A new artist on the 
keyboard is eagerly heard and discussed. If he 
be a Paderewski or a Joseflfy, he is the centre of 

418 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

a huge admiration. The days of Liszt were re- 
newed when Paderewski made his tours in Amer- 
ica. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say 
that not until now has good playing been so little 
of a rarity. 

But a hundred years ago matters were differ- 
ent. It was in 1839 that Franz Liszt gave the 
first genuine pianoforte recital, and, possessing 
a striking profile, he boldly presented it to his 
audiences; before that pianists either faced or 
sat with their backs to the public. No matter 
what avenue of music the student travels, he 
will be sure to encounter the figure of Liszt. 
Yet neither Liszt nor Chopin was without artistic 
ancestors. That they stemmed from the great 
central tree of European music; that they at first 
were swept down the main current, later con- 
trolled it, are facts that to-day are the common- 
places of the schools; though a few decades ago 
those who could see no salvation outside of Ger- 
man music-making, be it never so conventional, 
failed to recognise the real significance of either 
Liszt or Chopin, Both men gave Europe new 
forms, a new harmonic system, and in Liszt's 
case his originality was so marked that from 
Wagner to Tschaikowsky and the Russians, from 
Cornelius to Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg 
and the still newer men, all helped themselves at 
his royal banquet; some, like Wagner, a great 
genius, taking away all they needed, others glad 
to catch the very crumbs that fell. But the inno- 
vators in form have not always proved supreme 

419 



FRANZ LISZT 

creators. In the case of Wagner the plumed and 
serried phrases of Liszt recall the r61e played by 
Marlowe in regard to Shakespeare. 

Liszt's very power, muscular, compelling, set 
pianoforte manufacturers to experimenting. A 
new instrument was literally made for him, an in- 
strument that could thunder like an orchestra, 
sing like a voice, or whisper like a harp. Liszt 
could proudly boast, "le piano — c'est moi!" 
With it he needed no orchestra, no singers, no 
scenery. It was his stage, and upon its wires he 
told the stories of the operas, sang the beautiful, 
and then novel, lieder of Schubert and Schumann, 
revealed the mastery of Beethoven, the poetry 
of Chopin, and Bach's magical mathematics. 
He, too, set Europe ablaze; even Paganini was 
forgotten, and the gentlemanly Thalberg with 
his gentlemanly playing suddenly became in- 
sipid to true music lovers. Liszt was called a 
charlatan, and doubtless partially deserved the 
appellation, in the sense that he very often played 
for effect's sake, for the sake of dazzling the 
groundlings. His tone was massive, his touch 
coloured by a thousand shades of feeling, his 
technic impeccable, his fire and fury bewildering. 

And if Liszt affected his contemporaries, he 
also trained his successors, Tausig, Von Biilow, 
and Rubinstein — the latter was never an actual 
pupil, though he profited by Liszt's advice and 
regarded him as a model. Karl Tausig, the 
greatest virtuoso after Liszt and his equal at 
many points, died prematurely. Never had the 

420 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

world heard such controlled, plastic, and objec- 
tive interpretations. His iron will had drilled 
his Slavic temperament so that his playing was, 
as Joseffy says, "a series of perfectly painted 
pictures." His technic, according to those who 
heard him, was perfection. He was the one 
pianist sans peur et sans reproche. All schools 
were at his call. Chopin was revived when he 
played; and he was the first to hail the rising 
star of Brahms — not critically, as did Schumann, 
but practically, by putting his name on his 
eclectic programmes. Mr. Albert Ross Parsons, 
the well-known New York pianist, critic, and 
pedagogue, once told the present writer that Tau- 
sig's playing evoked the image of some magnifi- 
cent mountain. "And Joseffy?" was asked — 
for Joseffy was Tausig's favourite pupil. "The 
lovely mist that enveloped the mountain at dusk," 
was Mr. Parsons's happy answer. Since then 
Joseffy has condense^ this mist into something 
more solid, while remaining quite as beautiful. 

Rubinstein I heard play his series of historical 
recitals, seven in all; better still, I heard him 
perform the feat twice. I regret that it was not 
thrice. If ever there was a heaven-storming 
genius, it was Anton Rubinstein. Nicolas Rub- 
instein was a wonderful artist; but the fire that 
flickered and flamed in the playing of Anton was 
not in evidence in the work of his brother. You 
felt in listening to Anton that the piece he hap- 
pened to be playing was heard by you for the first 
time — the creative element in his nature was so 
421 



FRANZ LISZT 

strong. It seemed no longer reproductive art. 
The same thing has been said of Liszt. Often 
arbitrary in his very subjective readings, Rub- 
instein never failed to interest. He had an over- 
powering sort of magnetism that crossed the 
stage and enveloped his audience with a gripping 
power. His touch, to again quote Joseffy, was 
like that of a French horn. It sang with a mel- 
low thunder. An impressionist in the best sense 
of that misunderstood expression, he was the re- 
verse of his rival and colleague, Hans von Biilow. 
The brother-in-law, a la main gouche, of that 
Brother of Dragons, Richard Wagner, Von Biilow 
was hardly appreciated during his first visit to 
America in 1876-77. Rubinstein had preceded 
him by three seasons and we were loath to believe 
that the rather dry, angular touch and clear-cut 
phrasing of the little, irritable Hans were revela- 
tions from on high. Nevertheless, Von Biilow, 
the mighty scholar, opened new views for us by 
his Beethoven and Bach playing. The analyst 
in him ruled. Not a colourist, but a master of 
black and white, he exposed the minutest mean- 
ings of the composer that he presented. He was 
the first to introduce Tschaikowsky's brilliant 
and clangorous B-flat minor concerto. Of his 
Chopin performances, I retain only the memory 
of the D-flat Nocturne. That was exquisite, and 
all the more surprising coming from a man of Von 
Biilow's pedantic nature. His last visit to this 
country, several decades ago, was better appreci- 
ated, but I found his playing almost insupport- 
422 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

able. He had withered in tone and style, a 
mummy of his former alert self. 

The latter-day generation of virtuosi owe as 
much to Liszt as did the famous trinity, Tausig, 
Rubinstein, Von Biilow. Many of them studied 
with the old wizard at Rome, Budapest, and Wei- 
mar; some with his pupils; all have absorbed 
his traditions. It would be as impossible to keep 
Liszt out of your playing — out of your fingers, 
forearms, biceps, and triceps, — as it would be 
to return to the naive manner of an Emmanuel 
Bach or a Scarlatti. Modern pianoforte-playing 
spells Liszt. 

After Von Biilow a much more naturally gifted 
pianist visited the United States, Rafael Joseffy. 
It was in 1879 that old Chickering Hall witnessed 
his triumph, a triumph many times repeated 
later in Steinway Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Metro- 
politan Opera House, and throughout America. 
At first Joseffy was called the Patti of the Piano- 
forte, one of those facile, alliterative, meaningless 
titles he never merited. He had the coloratura, 
if you will, of a Patti, but he had something be- 
sides — brains and a poetic temperament. Po- 
etic is a vague term that usually covers a weak- 
ness in technic. There are different sorts of 
poetry. There is the rich poetry of Paderewski, 
the antic grace and delicious poetry of De Pach- 
mann. The Joseflttan poetry is something else. 
Its quality is more subtle, more recondite than 
the poetry of the Polish or the Russian pianist. 
Such miraculous finish, such crystalline tone 

423 



FRANZ LISZT 

had never before been heard until Joseffy ap- 
peared. At first his playing was the purest pan- 
theism — a transfigured materialism, tone, and 
technic raised to heights undreamed of. Years 
later a new Joseffy was bom. Stem self-dis- 
cipline, as was the case with Tausig, had won a 
victory over his temperament as well as his fin- 
gers. More restrained, less lush, his play is now 
ruled by the keenest of intellects, while the old 
silvery and sensuous charm has not vanished. 
Some refused to accept the change. They did 
not realise that for an artist to remain station- 
ary is decadence. They longed for graceful tri- 
fling, for rose-coloured patterns, for swallow-like 
flights across the keyboard, by a pair of the 
most beautiful piano hands since Tausig's. In a 
word, these people did not care for Brahms and 
they did care very much for the Chopin Valse 
in double notes. But the automatic piano has 
outpointed every virtuoso except Rosenthal in 
the matter of mere technic. So we enjoy our 
Brahms from Joseffy, and when he plays Liszt 
or Chopin, which he does in an ideal style, far 
removed from the tumultuous thumpings of the 
average virtuoso, we turn out in numbers to en- 
joy and applaud him. His music has that inde- 
finable quality which vibrates from a Stradiva- 
rius violin. His touch is like no other in the world, 
and his readings of the classics are marked by 
reverence and authority. In certain Chopin 
numbers, such as the Berceuse, the F-minor bal- 
lade, the barcarolle, and the E-minor concerto, 
424 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

he has no peer. Equally lucid and lovely are his 
performances of the B-flat major Brahms con- 
certo and the A-major concerto of Liszt. Joseffy 
is unique. 

There was an interregnum in the pianoforte 
arena for a few years. Joseffy was reported as 
having been discovered in the wilds above Tarry- 
town playing two-voiced inventions of Bach, and 
writing a new piano school. Arthur Friedheim 
appeared and dazzled us with the B-minor Sonata 
of Liszt. It was a wonder-breeding, thrilling 
performance. Alfred Griinfeld, of Vienna, cara- 
coled across the keys in an amiably dashing style. 
Rummel played earnestly. Ansorge also played 
earnestly. Edmund Neupert delivered Grieg's 
Concerto as no one before or since has done. 
Pugno came from Paris, Rosenthal thundered; 
Sauer, Stavenhagen, Siloti, Slivinski, Mark 
Hambourg, Burmeister, Hyllested, Faelten, Sher- 
wood, Godowsky, Gabrilowitsch, Vogrich, Von 
Sternberg, Jarvis, Richard Hoffmann, Boscovitz 
— to go back some years; Alexander Lambert, 
August Spanuth, Klahre, Lamond, Dohnanyi, 
Busoni, Baerman, Saint-Saens, Stojowski, Lhd- 
vinne, Rudolph Ganz, MacDowell, Otto Hegner, 
Josef Hofmann, Reisenauer — none of these 
artists ever aroused such excitement as Pade- 
rewski, though a more captivating and brilliant 
Liszt player than Alfred Reisenauer has been 
seldom heard. 

It was about 1891 that I attended a rehearsal 
at Carnegie Hall in which participated Ignace 

425 



FRANZ LISZT 

Jan Paderewski. The C-minor concerto of Saint- 
Saens, an effective though musically empty work, 
was played. There is nothing in the composi- 
tion that will test a good pianist; but Paderewski 
made much of the music. His tone was noble, 
his technic adequate, his single-finger touch sing- 
ing. Above all, there was a romantic tempera- 
ment exposed; not morbid but robust. His 
strange appearance, the golden aureoled head, 
the shy attitude, were rather puzzling to public 
and critic at his debut. Not too much enthusi- 
asm was exhibited during the concert or next 
morning in the newspapers. But the second 
performance settled the question. A great artist 
was revealed. His diffidence melted in the heat 
of frantic applause. He played the Schumann 
concerto, the F-minor concerto of Chopin, many 
other concertos, all of Chopin's music, much of 
Schumann, Beethoven, and Liszt. His recitals, 
first given in the concert hall of Madison Square 
Garden, so expanded in attendance that he 
moved to Carnegie Hall. There, with only his 
piano, Paderewski repeated the Liszt miracle. 
And year after year. Never in America has a 
public proved so insatiable in its desire to hear 
a virtuoso. It is the same from New Orleans to 
Seattle. Everywhere crowded halls, immense 
enthusiasms. Now to set all this down to an 
exotic personality, to occult magnetism, to sen- 
sationalism, would be unfair to Paderewski and 
to the critical discrimination of his audiences. 
Many have gone to gaze upon him, but they re- 

426 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

mained to listen. His solid attainments as a 
musician, his clear, elevated style, his voluptu- 
ous, caressing touch, his sometimes exaggerated 
sentiment, his brilliancy, endurance, and dreamy 
poetry — these qualities are real, not imaginary. 

No more luscious touch has been heard since 
Rubinstein's. Paderewski often lets his singing 
fingers linger on a phrase; but as few pianists 
alive, he can spin his tone, and so his yielding to 
the temptation is a natural one. He is intellec- 
tual and his readings of the classics are sane. Of 
poetic temperament, he is at his best in Chopin, 
not Beethoven. Eclectic is the best word to ap- 
ply to his interpretations. He plays programmes 
from Bach to Liszt with commendable fidelity 
and versatility. He has the power of rousing 
his audience from a state of calm indifference to 
wildest frenzy. How does he accomplish this? 
He has not the technic of Rosenthal, nor that 
pianist's brilliancy and power; he is not as subtle 
as Joseffy, nor yet as plastic in his play; the mor- 
bid witchery of De Pachmann is not his; yet no 
one since Rubinstein — in America at least — can 
create such climaxes of enthusiasm. Deny this or 
that quality to Paderewski; go and with your own 
ears and eyes hear and witness what we all have 
heard and witnessed. 

I once wrote a story in which a pianist figured 
as a mesmeriser. He sat at his instrument in a 
crowded, silent hall and worked his magic upon 
the multitude. The scene modulates into mad- 
ness. People are transported. And in all the 
427 



FRANZ LISZT 

rumour and storm, the master sits at the keyboard 
but does not play. I assure you I have been at 
Paderewski recitals where my judgments were in 
abeyance, where my individuality was merged 
in that of the mob, where I sat and wondered if 
I really heard; or was Paderewski only going 
through the motions and not actually touching 
the keys ? His is a static as well as a dramatic 
art. The tone wells up from the instrument, is 
not struck. It floats languorously in the air, it 
seems to pause, transfixed in the air. The Sar- 
matian melancholy of Paderewski, his deep sen- 
sibility, his noble nature, are translated into the 
music. Then with a smashing chord he sets us, 
the prisoners of his tonal circle, free. Is this the 
art of a hypnotiser ? No one has so mastered the 
trick, if trick it be. 

But he is not all moonshine. The truth is, 
Paderewski has a tone not as large as mellow. 
His fortissimo chords have hitherto lacked the 
foundational power and splendour of d'Albert's, 
Busoni's, and Rosenthal's. His transition from 
piano to forte is his best range, not the extremes 
at either end of the dynamic scale. A healthy, 
sunny tone it is at its best, very warm in colour. 
In certain things of Chopin he is unapproachable. 
He plays the F-minor concerto and the E-flat 
minor scherzo — from the second Sonata — 
beautifully, and if he is not so convincing in 
the Beethoven sonatas, his interpretation of the 
E-flat Emperor concerto is surprisingly free from 
morbidezzaj it is direct, manly, and musical. His 
428 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

technic has gained since his advent in New York. 
This he proved by the way he juggled with the 
Brahms-Paganini variations; though they are 
still the property of Moritz Rosenthal. He is 
more interesting than most pianists because he 
is more musical; he has more personal charm; 
there is the feeling when you hear him that he is 
a complete man, a harmonious artist, and this 
feeling is very compelling. 

The tricky elf that rocked the cradle of Vladi- 
mir de Pachmann — a Russian virtuoso, born 
in Odessa (1848), of a Jewish father and a Turk- 
ish mother (he once said to me, "My father is a 
Cantor, my mother a Turkey") — must have 
enjoyed — not without a certain malicious peep 
at the future — the idea of how much worriment 
and sorrow it would cause the plump little black- 
haired baby when he grew up and played the 
pianoforte like the imp of genius he is. It is 
nearly seventeen years since he paid his first visit 
to us. His success, as in London, was achieved 
after one recital. Such an exquisite touch, sub- 
tlety of phrasing, and a technic that failed only 
in broad, dynamic effects, had never before been 
noted. Yet De Pachmann is in reality the product 
of an old-fashioned school. He belongs to the 
Hummel-Cramer group, which developed a pure 
finger technic and a charming euphony, but 
neglected the dramatic side of delivery. Tone 
for tone's sake; absolute finesse in every figure; 
scales that are as hot pearls on velvet; a perfect 
trill; a cantilena like the voice ; these, and repose 
429 



FRANZ LISZT 

of style, are the shibboleth of a tradition that was 
best embodied in Thalberg — plus more tonal 
power in Thalberg's case. Subjectivity enters 
largely in this combination, for De Pachmann is 
"modem," neurotic. His presentation of some 
Chopin is positively morbid. He is, despite his 
marked restrictions of physique and mentality, 
a Chopin player par excellence. His fingers 
strike the keys like tiny sweet mallets. His 
scale passages are liquid, his octave playing 
marvellous, but en miniature — like everything 
he attempts. To hear him in a Chopin polo- 
naise is to realise his limitations. But in the 
larghetto of the F- minor concerto, in the noc- 
turnes and preludes — not of course the big one 
in D minor — etudes, valses, ah ! there is then 
but one De Pachmann. He can be poetic and 
capricious and elfish in the mazurkas; indeed, it 
has been conceded that he is the master-inter- 
preter of these soul-dances. The volume of tone 
that he draws from his instrument is not large, 
but it is of a distinguished quality and very musi- 
cal. He has paws of velvet, and no matter what 
the diflSculty, he overcomes it without an effort. 
I once called him the pianissimist because 
of his special gift for filing tones to a whisper. 
His pianissimo begins where other pianists end 
theirs. Enchanting is the effect when he mur- 
murs in such studies as the F minor of Chopin 
and the Concert study of Lisz-t of the same ton- 
ality; or in mounting unisons as he breathlessly 
weaves the wind through the last movement of 

430 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

Chopin's B-flat minor sonata. Less edifying 
are De Pachmann's mannerisms. They are only 
tolerated because of his exotic, lovely, and dis- 
quieting music. 

Of a different and a gigantic mould is the play- 
ing of Moritz Rosenthal. He is a native of 
Lemberg, in Galician Poland, a city that has 
held among other artists, Marcella Sembrich and 
Carl Mikuli, a pupil of Chopin and editor of an 
edition of his works. When a mere child, twelve 
years or so, Moritz walked from Lemberg to 
Vienna to study with Joseffy. Even at that age he 
had the iron will of a superman. He played for 
Joseffy the E-minor concerto of Chopin, the 
same work with which the youthful Joseffy years 
before had won the heart of Tausig. Setting 
aside Tausig — and this is only hearsay — the 
world of "pianism" has never matched Rosen- 
thal for speed, power, endurance; nor is this all. 
He is both musical and intellectual. He is a 
doctor of philosophy, a bachelor of arts. He has 
read everything, is a linguist, has travelled the 
globe over, and in conversation his unerring mem- 
ory and brilliant wit set him as a man apart. 
To top all these gifts, he plays his instrument 
magnificently, overwhelmingly. He is the Na- 
poleon, the conqueror among virtuosi. His tone 
is very sonorous, his touch singing, and he com- 
mands the entire range of nuance from the rip- 
pling fioritura of the Chopin barcarolle to the 
cannon-like thunderings of the A-flat polonaise. 
His octaves and chords baffle all critical experi- 

431 



FRANZ LISZT 

ence and appraisement. As others play presto 
in single notes, so he dashes off double notes, 
thirds, sixths, and octaves. His Don Juan fan- 
taisie, part Liszt, part Mozart, is entirely Rosen- 
thalian in performance. He has composed at 
his polyphonic forge a Humoreske. Its inter- 
weaving of voices, their independence, the caprice 
and audacity of it all are astounding. Tausig 
had such a technic; yet surely Tausig had not 
the brazen, thunderous climaxes of this broad- 
shouldered young man! He is the epitome of 
the orchestra and in a tonal duel with the orches- 
tra he has never been worsted. His interpreta- 
tions of the classics, of the romantics, are of a 
superior order. He played the last sonatas of 
Beethoven or the Schumann Carneval with equal 
discrimination. His touch is crystal-like in its 
clearness, therefore his tone lacks the sensuous- 
ness of Paderewski and De Pachmann. But it 
is a mistake to set him down as a mere un- 
emotional mechanician. He is in reality a Super- 
man among pianists. 

Eugen d' Albert has played in America several 
times, the first time in company with Sarasate, 
the Spanish violin virtuoso. Liszt called d' Al- 
bert, of whom he was very fond, the "second 
Tausig." The Weimar master declared that the 
little Eugen looked like, played like, his former 
favourite, Karl Tausig. In his youth d'Albert 
was as impetuous as a thunderbolt; now he is 
more reflective than fiery, and he is often careless 
in his technical work. Another pianist who has 

432 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

followed the lure of composition; but a great 
virtuoso, a great interpreter of the classics. His 
music suggests a close study of Brahms, and in 
his piano concertos he is both Brahmsian and 
Lisztian. 

The first time I heard Saint-Saens was in Paris 
the year 1878. He played at the Trocadero, 
palace — it was the Exposition year — his clever 
variations on a Beethoven theme for two pianos, 
Madame Montigny-Remaury being his colleague. 
In 1896 I attended the fiftieth anniversary of his 
first public appearance. The affair took place 
at a piano hall in Paris. And several years ago I 
heard the veteran, full of years and honours, in 
New York. He had changed but little. The 
same supple style, siccant touch, and technical 
mastery were present. Not so polished as Plante, 
so fiery — or so noisy — as Pugno, Saint-Saens 
is a greater musician than either at the key- 
board. His playing is Gallic — which means it is 
never sultry, emotional, and seldom poetic. 
The French pianists make for clearness, delicacy, 
symmetry; France never produced a Rubinstein, 
nor does she cordially admire such volcanic artists. 

Ossip Gabrilowitsch has been for me always 
a sympathetic pianist. He has improved meas- 
urably since his previous visits here. The poet 
and the student still preponderate in his work; 
he is more reflective than dramatic, though the 
fiery Slav in him often peeps out, and if he does 
not "drive the horses of Rubinstein," as Oscar 
Bie once wrote, he is a virtuoso of high rank. 
433 



FRANZ LISZT 

The Bie phrase could be better applied to Mark 
Hambourg, who sometimes is like a full-blooded 
runaway horse with the bit between its teeth, 
Hambourg has Slavic blood in his veins and 
it courses hotly. He is an attractive player, a 
younger Tausig — before Tausig taught himself 
the value of repose and restraint. Recklessly 
Hambourg attacks the instrument in a sort of 
Rubinsteinian fury. Of late he has, it is said, 
learned the lesson of self-control. His polyphony 
is clearer, his tone, always big, is more sonorous 
and individual. It was the veteran Dr. William 
Mason who predicted Hambourg's future. Ex- 
uberance and excess of power may be diverted 
into musical channels — and these Mark Ham- 
bourg has. It is not so easy to reverse the process 
and build up a temperament where little nat- 
urally exists. 

Josef Hofmann, from a wonder child who in- 
fluenced two continents, has developed into an 
artist who has attained perfection — a somewhat 
cool perfection, it may be admitted. But what 
a well-balanced touch, what a broad, euphonious 
tone, what care in building climaxes or shading 
his tone to mellifluous whisper! Musically he 
is impregnable. His readings are free from ex- 
travagances, his bearing dignified, and if we miss 
the dramatic element in his play we are consoled 
by the easy sweep, the intellectual grasp, and the 
positively pleasure-giving quality of his touch. 
Eclectic in style, Hofmann is the "young-old" 
master of the pianoforte. And he is Polish in 

434 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

everything but Chopin. But well-bred! Per- 
haps Rubinstein was right when he said, so is the 
report — at Dresden, "Jozio will never have to 
change his shirt at a recital as I did." 

Harold Bauer is a great favourite in America 
as well as in Paris. He has a quiet magnetism, 
a mastery of technical resources, backed by sound 
musicianship. He was a violinist before he be- 
came a pianist; this fact may account for his rich 
tone-quality — Bauer could even make an old- 
fashioned "square" pianoforte discourse elo- 
quently. He, too, is an eclectic; all schools 
appeal to him and his range is from Bach to 
Caesar Franck, both of whom he interprets with 
reverence and authority. Bauer played Liszt's 
Dance of Death in this country, creating thereby 
a reputation for brilliant "pianism." The new 
men, Lh^vinne, Ganz, Scriabine, Stojowski, are 
forging ahead, especially the first two, who are 
virtuoso artists. The young Swiss, Ganz, is a very 
attractive artist, apart from his technical attain- 
ments ; he is musical, and that is two-thirds of 
the battle. Two men who once resided in Amer- 
ica, Ferrucio Busoni and Leopold Godowsky, 
went abroad and conquered Europe. Busoni is 
called the master-interpreter of Bach and Liszt; 
the master-miniaturist is the title bestowed upon 
the miracle-working Godowsky, whose velvety 
touch and sensitive style have been better appre- 
ciated in Europe than America. 

The fair unfair sex has not lacked in repre- 
sentative piano artists. Apart from the million 

435 



FRANZ LISZT 

girls busily engaged in manipulating pedals, slay- 
ing music and sleep at one fell moment, there is 
a band of keyboard devotees that has earned 
fame and fortune, and an honourable place in 
the Walhalla of pianoforte playing. The modem 
female pianist does not greatly vary from her 
male rival except in muscular power, and even 
in that Sofie Menter and Teresa Carreno have 
vied with their ruder brethren. Pianists in 
petticoats go back as far as Nanette Streicher 
and come down to Paula Szalit, a girl who, it is 
said, improvises fugues. Marie Pleyel, Madame 
de Szymanowska — Goethe's friend at Marien- 
bad, in 1822 — Clara Schumann, Arabella God- 
dard, Sofie Menter, Annette Essipoff — once 
Paderewski's adviser, and a former wife of Les- 
chetitzky; Marie Krebs, Ingeborg Bronsart, 
Aline Hundt, Fannie Davies, Madeliene Schiller, 
Julia Rive-King, Helen Hopekirk, Nathalie 
Janotha, Adele Margulies, the Douste Sisters, 
Amy Fay, Dory Petersen, Cecilia Gaul, Madame 
Paur, Madame Lhevinne, Antoinette Szumow- 
ska, Adele Aus der Ohe, Cecile Chaminade, 
Madame Montigny-Remaury, Madame Roger- 
Miclos, Marie Torhilon-Buell, Augusta Cottlow, 
Mrs. Arthur Friedheim, Laura Danzinger Rose- 
bault, Olga Samaroff, Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler 
— these are a few well-known names before the 
public during the past and in the present. 

It may be assumed that the sex which can boast 
among its members such names as Jane Austen, 
George Sand, George Eliot, novelists; Vigee Le- 

436 



MODERN PIANOFORTE VIRTUOSI 

brun, Mary Cassatt, Cecilia Beaux, and Berthe 
Morisot, painters; Sonia Kovalevsky, mathema- 
tician; Madame Curie, science; Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning and Christina Rossetti, poetry, would 
not fail in the reproductive art of pianoforte play- 
ing. Clara Schumann was an unexcelled inter- 
preter of her husband's music; Sofie Menter the 
most masculine of Liszt's feminine choir; Essipoff 
unparalleled as a Chopin player; Carreno has a 
man's head, man's fingers, and woman's heart; 
Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, an artist of singular 
intensity and strong personality — these women 
have admirably contributed to the history of their 
art and need not fear comparisons on the score 
of sex. 

How far will the pursuit of technic go, and 
what will be the effect upon the mechanical future 
of the instrument ? It is both a thankless and a 
dangerous task to prophesy; but it seems that 
technic qua technic has ventured as far as it dare. 
Witness the astounding arrangements made by 
the ingenious Godowsky, the grafting of two 
Chopin studies, both hands autonomous, racing 
at full speed ! The thing is monstrous — yet 
effective; but that way musical madness hes. 
The Janko keyboard, a sort of ivory toboggan- 
slide, permitted the performance of incredible 
difficulties; glissandi in chromatic tenths! But 
who in the name of Apollo cares to hear chro- 
matic tenths sliding pell-mell down-hill! Music 
is music, and a man or woman must make it, 
not alone an instrument. The tendency now is 

437 



FRANZ LISZT 

toward the fabrication of a more sensitive, vibrat- 
ing sounding-board. Quality, not brutal quan- 
tity, is the desideratum. This, with the more re- 
sponsive and elastic keyboard action of the day, 
which permits all manner of finger nuance, will 
tell upon the future of the pianoforte. Machine 
music has usurped our virtuosity; but it can 
never reign in the stead of the human artist. And 
therefore we now demand more of the spiritual 
and less of the technical from our pianists. Music 
is the gainer thereby, and the old-time cacopho- 
nous concerto for pianoforte and orchestra will, 
we hope, be relegated to the limbo of things inu- 
tile. The pianoforte was originally an intimate 
instrument, and it will surely go back, though 
glorified by experience, to its first, dignified es- 
tate. 

I have written more fully of the pianists that 
I have had the good fortune to hear with my own 
ears. This is what is called impressionistic 
criticism. Academic criticism may be loosely de- 
fined as the expression of another's opinion. It 
has decided historic interest. In a word, the for- 
mer tells how much you enjoyed a work of art, 
whether creative or interpretive; the latter what 
some other fellow liked. So, accept these sketches 
as a mingling of the two methods, with perhaps 
a disproportionate stress laid upon the personal 
element — the most important factor, after all, 
in criticism. 



438 



INSTEAD OF A PREFACE 

This book, projected in 1902, was at that time 
announced as a biography of Liszt. However, 
a few tentative attacks upon the vast amount of 
raw material soon convinced me that to write the 
ideal life of the Hungarian a man must be plen- 
tifully endowed with time and patience. I pre- 
ferred, therefore, to study certain aspects of Liszt's 
art and character; and as I never heard him 
play 1 have summoned here many competent 
witnesses to my aid. Hence the numerous con- 
tradictions and repetitions, arguments for and 
against Liszt in the foregoing volume, frankly 
sought for, rather than avoided. The personal- 
ity, or, strictly speaking, the various personali- 
ties of Liszt are so mystifying that they would 
require the professional services of a half-dozen 
psychologists to untangle their complex web. As 
to his art, I have quoted from many conflict- 
ing authorities, hoping that the reader will evolve 
from the perhaps confusing pattern an authentic 
image of the man and his music. And all the 
biographies I have seen — Lina Ramann's, de- 
spite its violent parti pris, is the most complete 
(an urquell for its successors) — read like glori- 
fied time-tables. Now, no man is a hero to his 
biographer, but the practice of jotting down un- 

439 



FRANZ LISZT 

important happenings makes your hero very 
small potatoes indeed. An appalling number of 
pages are devoted to the arrival and departure 
of the master at or from Weimar, Rome, or 
Budapest. "Liszt left Rome for Budapest at 
8.30 A. M., accompanied by his favourite pupil 
Herr Fingers," etc.; or, "Liszt returned to 
Weimar at 9 p. m., and was met at the station 
by the Baroness W. and Professor Handgelenk." 
A more condensed method is better, though it 
may lack interest for the passionate Liszt ad- 
mirers. As for the chronicling of small-beer, I 
hope I have provided sufficient anecdotes to 
satisfy the most inveterate of scandal-mongers. 
I may add that for over a quarter of a century I 
have been collecting Lisztiana; not to mention 
the almost innumerable conversations and inter- 
views I have enjoyed with friends and pupils 
of Liszt. 

I wish to acknowledge the help and sympathy 
of: Camille Saint-Saens, Frederick Niecks, Rafael 
Joseffy, the late Anton Seidl, Felix Weingartner, 
Arthur Friedheim, Richard Burmeister, Henry 
T. Finck, Philip Hale, W. F. Apthorp, the late 
Edward Dannreuther, Frank Van der Stucken, 
August Spanuth, Emil Sauer, Moritz Rosenthal, 
Eugen d'Albert, Amy Fay, Rosa Newmarch, 
Jaroslaw de Zielinski, the late Edward A. Mac- 
Dowell, John Kautz, of Albany (who first sug- 
gested to me the magnitude of Liszt's contri- 
bution to the art of rhythms), Charles A. Ellis, 
of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Edward 
440 



INSTEAD OF PREFACE 

E. Ziegler. I am also particularly indebted to 
the following publications for their courtesy in 
the matter of reproduction of various articles: 
Scrihner^s Magazine^ New York Sun, Evening 
Post, Herald, Times, The Etude, Everybody's 
Magazine, and The Musical Courier. 

An exhaustive list of the compositions has yet 
to be made, though Gollerich in his Franz Liszt 
consumes fifty-five pages in enumerating the 
works — compiled from Lina Ramann, Breit- 
kopf and Hartel, and Busoni — some of which 
never saw the light of publication; such as the 
opera Don Sancho, the Revolutionary Symphony, 
etcetera; When Breitkopf and Hartel finish their 
cataloguing no doubt the result will be more satis- 
factory. The fact is that out of the known i ,300 
compositions, only 400 are original and of these 
latter how many are worth remembering ? Liszt 
wrote too much and too often for money. His 
best efforts will survive, of course; but I do not 
see the use of making a record of ephemeral pot- 
boilers. It is the same with the bibliography. 
I give the sources whenever I can of my informa- 
tion ; impossible, however, is it to credit the author- 
ship of all the flotsam and jetsam. Kapp in his 
ponderous biography actually devotes twenty- 
ceven pages to the books, magazines, and news- 
papers which have dealt with the theme, though 
even his Teutonic industry has not rendered flaw- 
less his drag-net. 

Liszt was the most caricatured man in Europe 
save Wagner and Louis Napoleon, and he was 
441 



FRANZ LISZT 

painted, sculptured, and photographed oftencr 
than any operatic or circus celebrity who ever 
sang or swung in the break-neck trapeze. Nat- 
urally the choice of illustrations for this study 
was narrowed down to a few types, with here and 
there a novelty (dug up from some ancient al- 
bum) ; yet sufficient to reveal Liszt as boy, youth, 
man; fascinating, dazzling, enigmatic artist, 
comedian, abb^, rhapsodist, but ever the great- 
souled Franz Liszt. 

J. H. 



442 



INDEX 



Acton, Lord, 14. 

Adam, Madame Edmond. (See 

Juliette Lamber.) 
Adelaide (Beethoven's), 216. 
Albano, 79. 

Aldega, Professor, 381. 
Aldrich, Richard, 195. 
Alkan, 63, 408. 
Allegri, 84. 
Allmers, W., 79. 
Altenburg, The (Liszt's house 

at Weimar), 2 1 , 24, 47, 48, 53, 

261, 362, 389. 
Amalia, Anna, 328. 
Amalie Caroline, Princess of 

Hesse, 198. 
Amiel, 64. 

Andersen, Hans Christian, ac- 
1^ count of a Liszt concert, 230- 

234- 
Anfossi, 80. 
Ansorge, Conrad (pupil), 98, 

332. 425- 
Antonelli, Cardinal, 22, 49, 50. 
Apel, Frau Pauline (Liszt's 

housekeeper), 327. 
"Apr6s une lecture de Dante" 

(Hugo), 152. 
Apthorp, W. F., 172, 173; 

analysis of the Concerto in 

A major, 173, 174. 
Arnim, Countess Bettina von, 

42,43, 261; Graf von, 89, 261. 
Auber, 172, 204, 281. 
Auerbach, Berthold, 139. 
Aufforderung zum Tanz 

(Weber), 93, 205, 207, 253. 
Augener & Company, 181. 
August, Karl, 328. 
"Aus der Glanzzeit der Wei- 

maren Altenburg" (La 

Mara), 44. 
Aus der Ohe, AdSle (pupil), 24, 

436. 
Austen, Jane, 436. 
Ave Maria (Schubert's), 216. 



Bach, 32, 62, 185, 375, 381, 42^, 
435; Chevalier Leonard E., 
312. 

Bache, Walter (pupil), 196, 312, 
384-386. 

Bachez, 226. 

Baerman, 425. 

Bagby, Albert Morris (pupil), 

370- 
Baillot, 204, 209. 
Bakounine, 38. 
Ballads (Chopin), 186, 399, 

424. 
Ballanche, 78. 
Balzac, 26, 39. 
Barber of Bagdad (Cornelius), 

48. 
Barcarolle (Chopin), 424, 431. 
Barna, Michael, 198, 199. 
Barnett, J. F., 385. 
Barry, C. A., 127, 139. 
Bartolini, 416. 
Baudelaire, 19. 
Bauer, Caroline, Reminiscences 

of, 241-244; Harold, 174, 

435- 

Beale, Frederick, 308; Willert, 
308. 

"Beatrix" (Balzac), 39. 

Beato, Fra, 84. 

Beethoven, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13, 30, 31, 
32,52,54, 55,62,67,84,105, 
115, 120, 160, 171, 179, 185, 
186, 202, 204, 210, 217, 281, 
375. 381, 408, 409, 411, 413, 
420, 432; festival at Bonn, 
225, 376; his piano, 262, 339; 
statue of, unveiled, 226. 

" Beethoven et Ses Trois Styles" 
(von Lenz), 201. 

Belgiojoso, Princess Cristina, 8, 
14, 16, 42, 82, 286. 

Belloni, 213, 237. 

Bendix, Max, 66. 

Benedict, Julius, 283, 284. 

Berceuse (Chopin), 186, 424. 



443 



INDEX 



Bergerat, Emile, 320. 

Beringer, Oscar, 376, 377. 

Berlioz, 5, 6, 8, 10, 17, 19, 20, 
26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 47, 53, 
55. 64, 67, 82, 85, 105, 145, 
155. 157. 158. 169, 171, 183, 

186, 193, 200, 204, 258, 259, 
282, 300, 337, 411, 415; ac- 
count of his friendship with 
Liszt, 2 10-2 1 7 ; letter to Liszt, 
215-217. 

Berne, 81. 

Berta, 91. 

Bethmann, Simon Maritz, 15. 

Bie, Oscar, 433. 

Bielgorsky, Count, 294, 296, 

297. 
Birmingham Musical Festival, 

Bishop, Sir Henry, 307. 
Bismarck, 179. 
Bizet, 378-380. 
Blackwood's Magazine, 304. 
Blaze de Bury, Baron, article 

on Liszt, 218, 219. 
Blessington, Countess of, 252. 
Bocella, 165. 
Bock, Anna, 276. 
Borodin, 24, 27. 
Boscovitz, 425. 
Bbsendorfer, 171. 
Bossuet, 26. 
Bourget, Paul, 141. 
Bovary, Emma, 16. 
Brahm, Otto, 332. 
Brahms, 9, 19, 53, 57, 153, 185, 

187, 375, 405, 408, 421, 424, 

425. 433- 
Brandes, Georg, 5. 
Breidenstein, Professor, 226. 
Breithaupt, Rudolf, 402. 
Breitkopf and Hartel, 94, 197, 

408. 
Brendel, Franz (pupil), 194. 
Breughel, 28. 
"Briefe und Schriften" (von 

Biilow), 179. 
Bright, John, 11. 
Broadwood piano, 339. 
Bronsart, Hans von (pupil), 

172; Ingeborg von, 401, 436. 
Bulgarin, 124. 
Biilow, Daniela von, 279; Hans 

von (Liszt's favorite pupil), 

IS, 19, 3T, 45, 93, 96, lOI, 



136-138, 168, 176, 177, 179, 
228, 229, 362, 402, 420, 422, 
423; Appreciation of Die 
Ideale, 136; Criticism of, 398, 
400. 

Bunsen, Von, 83. 

Burmeister, Richard (pupil), 
24, 52. 177. 178, 340, 359. 
425- 

Burne- Jones, 18. 

Busoni, Ferrucio, 402, 408, 425, 
428, 435. 

Byron, 11, 16, 34, 115, 124, 
398. 

Cabaner, 29. 

Callot, 28. 

Calvocoressi, 56. 

Campo Santo of Pisa, 175. 

Canterbury, Lord, 252. 

Carolsfield, J. Schnorr von, 79. 

Carreno, Teresa, 402, 436, 437. 

Casanova, 34. 

Catarani, Cardinal, 49. 

Catel, 89. 

Cezano, Marquise. (See Olga 
Janina.) 

Chamber music, 195. 

Chaminade, Cecile, 436. 

Chantavoine, Jean, 56. 

Charpentier, 10. 

Chateaubriand, 11, 26, 29, 43, 
64. 

Chelard, 226. 

Cherubini, 204. 

Chopin, Fr6deric Francois, 4, 5, 
6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 26, 29, 
38. 39. 40, 43. 59. 60, 63, 73- 
77. 145. 186, 201, 204, 238, 
282, 287, 288, 300, 308, 328, 
367. 372, 375. 381. 405. 408, 
415, 416, 418, 419. 

Chorley,225, 228, 252. 

Christophe, Jean; description 
of Liszt, 2. 

Church music, 187, 188, 190, 

193. 194- 

Cimarosa, 80. 

Circourt, Madame de, 319, 320. 

Clementi, 62, 302. 

Coblentz, Tribute from citi- 
zens of, 244. 

Cognetti, Mademoiselle, 98. 

Collin, Von, 115. 

Cologne, cathedral at, 248. 



444 



INDEX 



Colpach (Munkaczy's castle in 
Luxemburg), 25, 44, 280. 

Commettant, Oscar, satirical 
sketch of, 219, 220. 

Concerto (Bach), 293. 

Concerto (Beethoven), 202. 

Concerto (Chopin), 396, 424, 
426, 428, 430. 

Concerto (Tschaikowsky), 422. 

Concertsttick (Weber's), 212, 
219, 288, 29^. 

Consalvi, Cardinal, 79. 

Constant, Benjamin, 11. 

"Conversation on Music" (Ru- 
binstein), 156. 

Coriolanus (Beethoven's), 115. 

Cornelius, Peter (pupil), 19, 22, 
27, 28, 83, 89, 139, 165, 260, 
362, 419. 

Correggio, 28. 

Correspondent, The, 210. 

Cosima von Biilow Wagner, 15, 
20, 23, 25, 44, 49, 58, 93, 96, 
loi, 141, 228. 

Cottlow, Augusta, 436. 

Coutts, Baroness Burdett, 313. 

Craig, Gordon, 332. 

Cramer, J. B., 62, 184, 225, 
302. 

Crux Fidelis (choral), 133. 

Crystal Palace, London, 139. 

Cymbal effects in piano-play- 
ing, 161. 

Czaky, Archbishop of, 200. 

Czerny, Carl, 13, 72, 73, 182, 
184. 302, 3o8> 317. 406. 

Czinka, Pauna, a gypsy girl, 199. 

D'Agoult, Comte Charles, 15; 
Countess (Marie Sophie de 
Flarigny), 3, 14, 15, 25, 37, 39- 
41, 43, 80, 85, 86, 87, 246, 247, 

259. 391- 
D 'Albert, Eugen (pupil), 24, 

174, 359. 370. 372, 402, 428, 

432- 
Damnation de Faust (Berlioz), 

199. 
Damrosch, Leopold (pupil), 

118, 138, 139, 174, 197. 
D'Angers, David, 416. 
Dannreuther, 20, 152, 181, 191, 

_i93- 

Dante, 8, 147-152, 155; gallery 
(Rome), 382. 



Danton, 220, 221. 

Danube flood, 81. 

Danzinger-Rosebault, Laura, 
436- 

Davies, Fannie, 436. 

Da Vinci, 28. 

Debais, The, 211. 

De Beriot, 283. 

Debussy, 10, 31. 

Dehmel, Richard, 33a. 

Delacroix, 5. 

Delaroche, 16, 28. 

De Musset, 39. 

De Pachmann, Vladimir, 24, 
61, 423, 427, 429-431, 432. 

De Quincy, 27. 

Devrient, Ludwig, 139. 

Dictionary of Musicians, 385. 

Dietrichstein, Prince, 359. 

Dilke, Wentworth, 228. 

Dinglested, 48. 

Diorama, The, 152. 

Dobrjan (Liszt's birthplace). 
(See Raiding.) 

Doehler, 17. 

Dohnanyi, 425. 

Don Carlos, 241. 

Donizetti, 63, 86. 

Doppler, Franz, 158, 

Dore, Gustave, 28. 

D'Ortigue on Liszt, 217, 218. 

Douste sisters, 436. 

Draeseke, 21. 

Dukas, 10. 

Du Plessis, Marie, 19. 

Dupre, Jules, 11. 

Dwight, John S. (Boston mu- 
sical critic), interview with 
Liszt, 228, 329. 

Eckermann, 64. 

Edict of Louis XII. 80. 

" L'Education Sentimentale " 

(Flaubert), 26. 
Ehlert, Louis, 17, 363. 
El Greco, 28. 
Eliot, George, 43, 47, 53, 436; 

Weimar recollections of, 258. 
Ellet, Mrs., account of a Liszt 

concert in Cologne, 248, 249. 
Ellis, Havelock, 12. 
Enfantin, P^re Prosper, 14. 
Eperjes, 198. 
Erard piano, 59, 301, 318, 

3^3- 



445 



INDEX 



Emani, 258. 

Ernst, Paul, 332. 

Escudier, Leon, description of 
Dan ton's statuette of Liszt, 
220, 231; incident at one of 
Henri Herz's concerts, 221, 
222. 

Essipoff, Annette, 436, 437. 

Essler, Fanny, 235. 

Esterhazy, Prince, 304; estates, 
12. 

Etruscan Museum, 83. 

Etude, The, 381. 

Etudes (Chopin), 75. 

Euryanthe, Overture to, 181. 

Faelten, 425. 

Fallersleben, Hoffmann von 
(lyric poet), 165, 260. 

Fantasia (Bach), 383. 

Fantasia (Schumann), 57. 

Faure, 281. 

Faust (Lenau's), 71. 

Faust Ouverture, Eine (Wag- 
ner's), 143. 

Fay, Amy, 38, 436. 

Feodorovna, Empress Alexan- 
dra, 295. 

Fetis and Moscheles, 185. 

Feuerbach, 89. 

Fichtner, Pauline, 24. 

Field, 368. 

Figaro, The (London), 384. 

Finck, Henry T., 165, 179, 194, 
196, 314. 

Fischer, Signor, 345; Wilhelm, 
147. 

Fischof, 226. 

Flaubert, Gustave, 16, 26. 

Flavigny, Vicomte de, 15. 

Foyatier, 18. 

Francia, 84. 

Francis Joseph, king of Hun- 
gary, 96. 

Franck, Caesar, 435. 

Franz, Robert, 19, 66, 229, 411. 

Frederic (piano tuner), 287. 

"Frederick Chopin" (Niecks), 

Freemasons Journal, The, 389. 
Freischutz (Weber's), 205, 

214. 
Friedheim, Arthur (pupil), 24, 

70, 359. 368-373, 425. Mrs. 

Arthur, 436. 



Gabrilowitsch, Ossip, 425, 433. 

Galitsin, Prince (governor-gen- 
eral of Moscow), 294. 

Galleria Dantesca, 102. 

Garcia, Viardot, 388. 

Garibaldi, 89. 

Gaul, Cecilia, 276, 436. 

Gautier, Judith, 17; Margue- 
rite, 40; Theophile, 5, 11. 

Gauz, Rudolph, 425, 435. 

Gazette Musicale (Parb), 77, 
179, 193, 287, 288. 

Geneva, 15, 81. 

Genoa, 81. 

George IV, 304. 

Gericke (conductor), 147, 
151-. 

Gervais, 359. 

GiUe, 21. 

Gillet, 281. 

Giocati-Buonaventi, A., 390. 

Giorgione, 28. 

Glinka, 297, 298. 

Gluck, 30, 84. 

Goddard, Arabella, 436. 

Godowsky, Leopold, 402, 425, 

^435. 437- 

Goethe, 9, 11, 15, 19, 22, 34, 43, 
47, 64, 78, 84, 85, 88, 89, 113, 
145, 146, 155, 165, 167, 196, 
211, 223, 279, 328, 329, 330, 
436; foundation, 48. 

Goethe-Schiller monument, un- 
veiling of, 133. 

Gollerich, August (pupil and 
biographer), 44, 49, 55, 57, 
58, 98, 118, 359. 

Goncourt, 26. 

Gott, Joseph, 381. 

Gottschalg, A. W. (pupil), 21, 
56; " Franz Liszt in Weimar," 

^358- 

Gounod, 217. 

Gradus (Clementi), 59. 

Grafe, 280. 

Gran (Hungary), Basilica at, 

188. 
Gregorovius, 78, 79, 88, 89, 91, 

93, 98, 102. 
Gregory VH, c6; XIV, 83. 
Grieg, Eduardf, 24, 425; piano 

concerto, 313-316. 
Grove, Sir George, 385. 
Griinfeld, Alfred, 425. 
Griinwald, Matthew, 28. 



446 



INDEX 



Guido of Arezzo, 73. 
Gumprecht, 29. 

Habeneck (conductor), 204. 

Hackett, Francis, 14. 

Haen, Charlotte von, 42. 

Hahn, Arthur, 112. 

Hahnel, Professor, 226. 

Hale, Philip, 5, 66, 127, 135, 
151, 171, 174, 320. 

Hal6vy, 204, 378. 

Hall, Walter (conductor), 192. 

Hambourg, Mark, 425, 434. 

Handel, 31, 120, 304, 381. 

Handley, Mrs., 319. 

Hanslick, Eduard, 53, 139, 171. 

Harold, 106. 

Harmonic system, 419. 

Hauptmann, 385. 

Hayden, 10. 

Haydn, Joseph, 12, 31, 84, 105, 
142, 160, 172, 409. 

Healey, 417. 

Hegel, 233. 

Hegner, Otto, 425. 

Heine, 9, 11, 17, 124, 165; 
reminiscences of Liszt, 234- 
241. 

Helbig, Madame Nadine (Prin- 
cess Nadine Schakovskoy (pu- 
pil), 42, 102. 

Henderson, W. J., 192; on the 
St. Elisabeth Legend, 192, 

193- 

Henselt, 209. 

Herder, Jonathan Gottfried, 
130, 328. 

Hermann, Carl (pupil), 276. 

Herwegh, George, 235. 

Herz, Henry, 17, 65, 221, 222, 
308. 

Herz-Parisian school, 59. 

Hill, Edward Burlingame, 381. 

Hiller, Ferdinand, 3, 35, 53, 
293, 320. 

History of Charles XII (Vol- 
taire), 124; of the French 
Revolution (Francois Mig- 
net), 14. 

Hoffman, Richard, 425; recol- 
lections of Liszt, 316-318. 

Hofgartnerei, The (Liszt's resi- 
dence in Weimar), 23, 58, 

389- 
Hofmann, Josef, 425, 434. 



Hohenlohe, Cardinal Prince, 22, 

93. 94, 97- 
Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst, 

Prince, 48. ■; 

Hopekirk, Helen, 436. 
Hotel d'Alibert (Liszt's resi- 
dence in Rome), 98, 340. 
"Hour Passed with Liszt, An" 

(By B. W. H.), 275-279. 
Hueffer, Dr., 166. 
Hugo, Victor, 5, 108, 124, 152, 

16s, 204. 
Huguenots (Meyerbeer's), 145. 
Humboldt, 48, 78. 
Hummel, J. N., 12, 13, 73, 

202, 224; concerto, 304, 317. 
Hundt, Aline, 436. 
Hungarian Diet, debate in, 200; 

Museum (Budapest), 338; 
Hyllested, 425. 

Ideale, Die (Schiller), 133, 134. 

Idealism, 59. 

Ibsen, 71. 

"Inchape Bell" (Parry), 310. 

Ingres, Jean Auguste Domi- 
nique, 83, 84, 416, 417. 

Irving, Henry, 32. 

Ivanowski, Peter von (father of 
the Princess Sayn-Wittgen- 
stein), 45. 

lames, Henry, 27, 141. 
fanin, Jules, 40, 228. 
fanina, Olga (pupil), 41. 
fanko keyboard, 437. 
fanotha, Nathalie, 436. 
farvjs, 425. 
[ensen, Adolf, 363. 
Joachim, Joseph (pupil), 3, 19, 

S3, 57, 358. 
Joseffy, Rafael (pupil), 24, 57, 

63. 66, 374-376, 418, 421, 425. 

427. 431- 
Jonkovsky, Baron, 417. 

Kahrer, Laura, 24. 
Kalkbrenner, 17, 65, 201, 202, 

204, 205-207, 302. 
Kapellmeister, 21. 
Kapp, Julius, 55, 56, 57. 
Karlsruhe (music festival at), 

93- 
Kaulbach, Wilhelm von, 9, 28, 
84, 132, 416. 



447 



INDEX 



Kemble, Fanny, 244; impres- 
sion of Liszt, 245. 

Kennedy, Mgr., 343, 344. 

Kessler, Count, 332. 

Kieff, 45- 

Kindworth, Karl (pupil), 362, 
403- 

Kirkenbuhl, Karl, extracts from 
his " Federzeichnungen aus 
Rom," 267-275. 

Kissingen, 280. 

Kistner (Leipsic publisher), 
414- 

Klahre, Edwin (pupil), 425. 

Kleinmichael's piano score, 142. 

Klindworth, Agnes Street, 42. 

Klinger, Max, 331, 334. 

Klinkerfuss, Johanna, 24. 

Kloss, George, 389. 

Kohler, Louis (pupil), 138. 

Kovacs, 338. 

Kovalensky, Sonia, 437. 

Kraftmayr (Von Wolzogen), 
57- 

Krebs, Marie, 436. 

Krehbiel, H. E., 10. 

Kremlin, 29. 

Kriehuber, 417. 

Krockow, Countess, 363. 

Kullak, 383. 

La Mara (Marie Lipsius) 
(pupil), 35, 39, 42, 44, 49. 

Lamartine, 9, 204, 398. 

Lamb, Charles, 30. 

Lamber, Juliette, criticism of 
George Sand, 39. 

Lambert, Alexander (pupil), 

174, 425- 

Lamenais, 14, 79. 

Lamond, Frederick, 312, 425. 

Landes Musikakademie, 97. 

Lanyi, Joann von, 199. 

Laprunardde, Adele (Duchesse 
de Fleurj') (pupil), 37. 

Lassen, 19. 

Laussot, Jessie Hillebrand, 42. 

Lavenu, 309, 310. 

Legouv6, Ernest, 214; compari- 
son of Liszt and Thalberg's 
playing, 281-291, 416. 

Lehmann, 259. 

Leipsic school, 52. 

Lenau, 71, 398. 

Lenbach, 416, 417. 



Lenz, Von (pupil), account of 
his acquaintance with Liszt, 
201-210. 

Leonora Overture (Beetho- 
ven's), 153. 

Leo XII, 80; XIII, 345, 390. 

Leopold I, Emperor, 198. 

Leschetitzky, 436. 

"Lettres d'un Voyageur" 
(George Sand), 322. 

Leyrand, 416. 

Lewald, Fanny, 79. 

Lewes, George Henry, 43, 48. 

Lhevinne, 425, 435; Madame, 
436- 

Lichnowsky, Prince Felix, 241- 

243- 
Liedertafel, Rhenish, 248, 249. 
Lie, Erika, 313. 
Liliencron, Baron Detlev von, 

X 331- 

Lind, Jenny, 403. 

Lindemann-Frommel, 89. 

LiondmUla, 298. 

Lipsius, Marie. (See La Mara.) 

Listemann (conductor), 147. 

Liszt, Adam, 12, 317; Anna 
Lager, 12; Blandine, 15, 90, 
97; Cosima (see Cosima von 
Biilow Wagner); Daniel, 15. 
16, 97; Edward, 169. 

Liszt, Franz, abuse of, in Ger- 
many, 3; affectation in his 
work, 157; alters harmonic 
minor scale, 163; amiability 
of, 21; amusing story of con- 
version, 320-326; anecdotes, 
57, 58, loi, 142, 180, 221, 
237, 243, 254, 255, 378; appre- 
ciation of Saint-Saens, 104, 
105; as a teacher, 14, 23; as 
Abbe, 18, 50, 97, 267, 27s; 
biographers of, 51, 55, 56, 
101; birth of, II, 12; birth- 
place of, 13; boyhood of, 13, 
14, 300-305; in Budap)est, 97; 
character of his music, 29, 30, 
78; children of, 15, 16, 86, 
359; chivalry of, 11, 34, 56; 
Chopin's obligation to, 6, 73- 
77; comment on his 13th 
Psalm, 194, 195; comparison 
of established symphonic form 
with that devised by Liszt, 
140; compared with Wagner, 



448 



INDEX 



io8, 143, 144; as composer, i, 
2, 13, 14.20,31, 35, 43, 52- 
56, 86, 90, 103, 144, 327, 377, 
409-413; concerts of, 34, 212, 
221, 223, 224, 230, 235, 248, 
288, 292, 293, 302, 305, 319; 
as conductor, 2, 87, 135, 258, 
377; conducts at Aix-la-Cha- 
pelle, 13s; conducts in Berlin, 
137; conducts at Prague, 136; 
conducts at Pesth, 94, 96; con- 
ducts in Rome, 94; conducts 
in Weimar, 88; conversa- 
tion of, 258, 259, 276; court 
musical director (Weimar), 
22, 46, 47; creator of the sym- 
phonic Doem, 26, 27, 106, 139, 
140; criticisms regarding, 2, 8, 
14, 17, 21, 64, 153-158, 194, 
360, 399; and the Countess 
d'Agouit, 14-16, 80, 8r, 85, 
391; daily mode of life, 99, 
100; death of, i, 2, 25, 280; 
dedications, 57, 100, 169, 172; 
description of his ideal of ro- 
mantic religious music, 193; 
in England, 300-3 1 3 ; fascinat- 
ing personality of, 45, 235, 
236, 241, 246, 256, 257; fem- 
inine friendships of, 34-43; 
fingering, 74, 187; Freemason, 
389; friendship with Berlioz, 
212; friendship with Cardinal 
Prince Hohenlohe, 22; friend- 
ship with Chopin, 14, 40; 
friendship with Jean Auguste 
Dominique Ingres, 83, 84; 
and Marguerite Gautier, 40; 
generosity of, 24, loi, 257, 
258; gifts from sovereigns, 
328; greatest contribution to 
art, 4; hand of, 328, 339; 
illness of, 44, 135; impres- 
sionability of, 8, 10, n; im- 
provisations of, 82, 180, 181; 
indebtedness to Chopin, 76; in- 
fluence of Berlioz, 17, 55,411; 
influence of Chopin, 17, 145, 
411; influence of gipsy music, 
160; influence of Meyerbeer, 
145; influence of Paganini, 
17; influence of Wagner, 191; 
ingratitude of Schumann, 57; 
on instruments of percussion, 
170, 171; interest in German 



art, 90; interest in Tausig, 
362; interpretation, 87; inter- 
view with, 228, 229; intimacy 
with Prince Lichnowsky, 
241-243; intrigues against, 
22; introduces interlocking 
octaves, 77; introduces the 
piano recital, 71, 419; and 
Olga Janina, 41; lack of ap- 
preciation of, 31, 141, 229; 
and the Countess Ad^le La- 
prunar&de, 37; letters of, 9, 
35. 37. 44. 46, 92, 135, 136, 
138. 143. 150. 169, 170, 171, 
179. 194. 195. 197. 219. ?79. 
280, 289, 290, 394, 414; liter- 
ary work of, 19, 20; in Lon- 
don, 300-313; loss of Piano 
Method, Part III, 358; love 
affairs of, 2, 3, 19-23, 36-41, 
88; and Lola Montez, 40, 41; 
musical style of, 4, 181; mu- 
sical imagmation, 8, 146; no- 
tation, 187; number of com- 
positions, 56; orchestral form, 
194; orchestral instrumenta- 
tion, 157; orchestral music of, 
32, 123, 190; as organ com- 
poser, 401, 402; original com- 
positions of, 412, 413; on 
origin of his Tasso, 115; on 
origin of his Orpheus, 121; 
parents of, 12, 14, 251; in 
Paris, 13, 24; patience of, 27; 
pedalling, 62, 99, 187; pen 
picture of, 57; personal ap- 
pearance, 18, 89, 98, 204, 
231. 255, 262, 269, 276, 296, 
297; personal characteristics, 
2. 3. 17. 66, 71, 327; piano- 
forte virtuoso, I, 2, 8, 14, 16, 
18, 43. 56, 73. 94, 106, 247, 
251, 252, 420; piano music of, 
10, II, 53, 66, 123, 168, 187, 
409-413; piano recitals, 82, 
83. 179. 308-311, 419; piano 
reform, 91 ; piano of, 328, 340, 
342, 343, 394; and the Coun- 
tess Louis Plater, 37; playing 
of, 17, 60-64, 87, 99, 141, 161, 
208, 214, 223, 224, 232, 233, 
238-240, 253, 266, 277, 278, 
285, 292, 298, 314, 316, 421; 
plays Weber's Sonatas, 207, 
208: plays at Berlioz's, 210; 



449 



INDEX 



at Bizet's, 379; at court of 
Wurtemburg, 252; at Karls- 
ruhe, 93; at Legouv6's, 215; 
at Munkaczy's, 35; at Tol- 
stoy's, 102; at Windsor Castle, 
304; portraits of, 16, 18, 42, 
261, 289, 338, 416, 417; pre- 
diction at birth of, 12; pre- 
dominating artistic influences, 
17; prophecy of, 100; public 
speaking of, 179, 213, 226, 
227; pupils of, 24, 36, 42, 51, 
52, 57, 91, 98, 185, 263, 353- 
388; alphabetical list of pupils, 
353-358; reading of, 14; real- 
ism of, 67 ; reformer of church 
music, 2; religious fervor of, 
89-92, 97, 98, 196; residences 
in and around Rome, 343; 
revolutionist, 142; romanti- 
cism of, II, 14, 28; in Rome, 
78-85, 89-97, 102; in Russia, 
294-300; and Caroline de 
Saint-Criq, 36, 37; and 
George Sand, 39, 40, 247; 
and the Princess Sayn-Witt- 
genstein, 19-24, 43-51; Schu- 
mann's indebtedness to, 56; 
as song writer, 165-168; start- 
ed new era in Hungarian mu- 
sic, 160; statues of, 13, 18, 
220, 221, 332; success of, 13, 
52; as teacher, 14, 97, 100, 
209. 339. 358, 395-397; tech- 
nique of, 34, 62, 70, 72, 152, 
313, 402, 407, 421, 437; tem- 
perament of, 28, 29; tempo, 
164, 165, 187; testimonals, 
328; theological studies of, 
95; theory of gipsy music, 20; 
thought his career a failure, 
26; tirelessness of, 17; tomb 
of, 25, 58; the triangle, 170- 
172; tribute by Wagner, 23; 
variety of rhythms of, 31; 
versatility of, 51, 88, 144; on 
virtuosity, 392, 393; Wagner's 
indebtedness to, i, 3, 5, 6, 9, 
31, 55, 141-144; Wagner's 
praise, 9, 103, 142; wander- 
ings of, 34, 70, 81, 85, 87, 93, 
94-96, 97; in Weimar, 19, 23, 
46, 47, 87, 88, 96, 169, 329; 
writing for solo and choral 
voices, 190. 



Liszt, Franz — ^Works: 

AUeluja, 92. 

Angelus, 195, 196. 

Apparitions, The, 66. 

Ave Maria, 92, 224, 294. 

Ballad in B minor, 399. 

Ballades, 66, 186. 

Benediction de Dieu, 143. 

Berceuse, 186. 

Chore zu Herder's Entfesselte 
Prometheus, 130, 131. 

Chorus of Angels, 196, 197. 

Concert Study, 430. 

Concertos, 168-174, 187; 
Concerto Pathetique in E 
minor, 66, 177, 178; Con- 
certo for piano and orches- 
tra, No. I, in E flat, 67, 
168-172; Concerto for pi- 
ano. No. 2, in A major 
(Concert Symphonique ), 
66, 172-174. 

Consolations, 187,413. 

Don Sancho, 14. 

Elegier, The, 66, 

Etudes, 66, 72, 181-185, 305, 
408; Etude in D flat, 99; 
Etude in F minor. No. 10, 
72; Etudes de Concert 
(three), 72, 184; Etudes 
d'execution transcendante 
(twelve), 72, 86, 181, 182; 
Etudes en douze exercices. 
Op. I, 181; Etudes, second 
set of, 182; Ab-Irato, 66, 72, 
184, 185; Au Bord d'une 
Source, 70, 72; Au Lac de 
Wallenstadt, 72; Danse 
Macabre, 84, 182, 187; 
Feux-foUets, 72, 184; Gno- 
menreigen, 72, 92, 184, 
400; Harmonies du Soir, 
72, 18^, 184; Irrlichter, 
400; Ricordanza, 72, 184, 
187; Studies of Storm and 
Dread, 183; Vision, 183; 
Wilde Jagd, 183; Waldes- 
rauschen, 72, 92, 184; 
Excelsior, 143. 

Evocatio in der Sixtinischen 
Kapelle, 90, 143. 

Fantasias, 1 79-181, 401; An- 
nees de P^erinage, 11, 66, 
70, 86, 152, 187, 412; 
r antasia on Don Juan, 298, 



450 



INDEX 



407, 418, 433; Fantasia 
Dramatique, 187; Fantasia 
on Reminiscences of Puri- 
tani, 82; Fantasia on 
Themes by Pacini, 292; 
Fantaisie quasi sonata 
aprbs une lecture de Dante, 
86; II Penseroso, 84, 86; 
operatic fantasias, 180, 
181; Lucia, 63, 180; Son- 
nambula, 180; Sposalizio, 
84, 86; Tre Sonetti di Pe- 
trarca, 86, 187. 

Funeral March on occasion 
of Maximilian of Mexico's 
death, 96. 

Galop Chromatique, 293, 298. 

Glanes de Woronice, 25. 

Harmonies, 412; Harmonies 
P&tiques et Religieuses, 
66. 

Heih'ge Cacelia, Die (essay), 
84. 

Hungarian gipsy music, book 
on, 10. 

Hungarian March, 317. 

Legends, 66, 412; Legend of 
St. Elisabeth, 88, 90, 143, 
191-193, 272, 273, 312; 
St. Francis of Assisi's 
Hymn to the Sun, 88; St. 
Francis of Assisi Preach- 
ing to the Birds, 92, 186, 
412; St. Francis de Paula 
Stepping on the Waves, 92, 
186, 412. 

Masses, 4, 54, 187-194; 
Graner Festmesse, 29, 30, 
S3. 92. 95. 188, 190, 191, 
193, 342; Hungarian Coro- 
nation Mass, 95, 96, 189, 
190, 270, 271. 

Mazurkas, 66, 186. 

Mephisto Waltz, 71, 178, 
231. 

Nocturnes, 66. 

Oratorios, 4, 54; Oratorio of 
Christus, 54, 90, 95, loi, 
104, 193, 194, 328; Ora- 
torio of Petrus, 273. 

Organ variations on Bach 
themes, 92, 93; organ and 
trombone composition, 88. 

Piano arrangements, 86. Ad- 
elaide, 394, 298 ; Beethoven 



symphonies, 87, 90; Bee- 
thoven quartets, 93, 95 ; 
Erlkbnig, 93, 224, 294, 
298. 

Polonaises, 25, 70, 186. 

Psalms, 13, 18, 23, 90, 92, 
137. 194. 195; Thirteenth 
Psalm, 92, 194, 195. 

Rakoczy March, 94, 189, 
198-200,337. 

Requiem, 97. 

Rhapsodies Hongroises, 53, 
65, 100, 157, 158-165, 178, 
187, 189, 367, 407,412; list 
of, 158, 159. 

Scherzo imd Marsch in D 
minor, 186. 

Serenade, 294. 

Soir6es de Vienne, 25. 

Sonata in B minor, 29, 57, 
59-70, 186, 187, 425. 

Songs, 165-168. 

Sonnets after Petrarch, 66. 

Studies and fragments, 82. 

Study of Chopin, 19. 

Symphonic poems, 4, 9, 10, 
26, 27, 52, 53, 54, 72, 103, 
104, 106-158, 168, 172, 
377; La bataille des Huns, 
after Kaulbach (Hunnen- 
schlacht), 84, 107, 132, 
133. 143. 153; Ce quon 
Entend sur la montagne 
(Berg Symphony), 107, 
108-112, 153, 328, 415; 
Fest-klainge, 107, 126-129, 
136, 153, 328; From the 
Cradle to the Grave 132; 
Hamlet, 107, 132, 153; H6- 
roide fundbre, 107, 131, 
153, 178; Hungaria, 132, 
153. 328; L'ld^al, after 
Schiller, 107, 133-139. i43. 
153. 367; Mazeppa, 72, 103, 
107, 123-126, 183, 407; 
Orphde, 103, 107, 121, 122, 
143, 328; Les Preludes, 
after Lamartine, 107, 119- 
121, 136, 153, 367; Pro- 
mdth6e, 107, 122, 123, 130, 
131; Tasso, Lamento and 
Trionfo, 107, 113-118, 136, 
153. 367; Le Triompne 
fun^bre du Tasse (epi- 
logue), 97, 118, 197. 



451 



INDEX 



Symphonies: Dante Sym- 
phony, II, 19, 38, 53, 94, 
102, 104, 143. 146-155; 
Faust Symphony, 22, 38, 
S3. 58, 141-146, 154, 155. 
328, 415; Revolutionary 
Symphony, 14, 38, 132, 142. 

Todtentanz, 174-177, 238, 

407, 435- 
Transcriptions, 65, 66, 86, 90, 

93, 95. 96. 97, 2", 253, 
412; Isolde's Liebestod, 
96; Paganini studies, 184, 
185, 223; Symphonic Fan- 
tastique, 211. 
Valse- impromptu, 186; Valse 
Oubliee, 66. 
Liszt fund, 257. 
"Liszt und die Frauen" (La 

Mara), 35, 42. 
LitolfF, Henri, 19, 169. 
Litdeton, Alfred, 313; Augustus, 

313; Henry, 311, 312. 
"Le Livre de Caliban" (Ber- 

gerat), 320. 
Lohengrin (Wagner), 19, 47, 54, 

137, 188, 329, 377. 
Lorenzetti, Pietro and Ambro- 

^ gio, 175- 
Lotto, Lorenzo, 18. 
Louis I, of Bavaria, 89. 
Louis, Rudolf (Liszt biog- 
rapher), 101. 
Lytton, Lord, 133. 

MacColI, D. S., tribute to 
music, 32, 33. 

MacDowell, Edward (pupil), 
24, 425. 

Mackenzie, Sir A. C, 195, 312. 

Macready (tragedian), notes 
from diary of, 252. 

Madach, "The Tragedy of 
Mankind," 338. 

Madonna del Rosario (cloister), 
90. 

Maeterlinck, 71. 

Mahler, Gustav, 65. 

Mai, Cardinal, 83. 

Maiden's Lament, The (Schu- 
bert's), 167. 

Makart, Hans, 338. 

Malibran, 82, 204. 

Manet, Edouard, 33. 

Manns, August, 139. 



Marcello, 84. 

Margulies, Adele, 436. 

Marschner, 6. 

Mason, Dr. William (pupil), 

19, 143, 434- 
Massocia, 79. 
Matisse, 28. 

Maupassant, Guy de, 26. 
Maximilian of Mexico, 96. 
Mazurka (Chopin), 65, 186. 
Meditations Poetiques (Lamar- 

tine's), 119, 204. 
Mees, Arthur (conductor), 191. 
Mehlig, Anna, 276. 
Meistersinger, Die (Wagner), 7. 
Melchers, Gari, 332. 
Melena, Elpis, 42. 
"Memories of a Musical Life" 

(William Mason), 143. 
Mendelssohn, Felix, 3, 31, 53, 

66, 73, 85, 105, 293, 300, 309, 

400, 409, 411; Psalm, As 

the Hart Pants, 293; Songs 

without Words, 319. 
Menter, Sofie (pupil), 24, 42 

171, 279, 280, 436, 437. 
Mercadante, 86. 
Merian-Genast, Emilie, 42. 
Merry del Val, Mgr., 344. 
Mertens-Schaaffhausen, Frau 

Sibylle, 89. 
Methode des Methodes, 185. 
Metternich, Prince, 244. 
Metternich, Princess, 243, 244. 
MeyendorflF, Baroness Olga de 

(pupil), 42. 
Meyerbeer, 129, 145, 180, 

236. 
Mezzofanti, Cardinal, 83. 
Michelangelo, 9, 28, 84. 
Michetti's Beethoven Album, 

225. 
Mignet, Francois, 14. 
Mildner, 212. 
Milnes, Monckton (Lord 

Houghton), 252. 
Milozz), 350. 
Minasi, account of conversation 

with Liszt, 250-252. 
Minghetti, Princess, 100. 
Mischka (Liszt's servant), loi. 
Mock, Camille. (See Madame 

Plevel.) 
Monday Review, The (Vienna), 

390. 



452 



INDEX 



Montauban, 84. 

Monte Mario, Dominican clois- 
ter of, 50, 90, 91, 93, 94, 100, 
197, 265, 274, 342. 

Montez, Lola, 19, 40, 226; ex- 
tracts from ' ' Wits and Women 
of Paris," 246, 247. 

Montigny-Remaury, Madame, 
433, 436. 

Moore, George, 26, 29. 

Mori, 302. 

Morning Post (Manchester), 
301-303, 316. 

Morris, William, 327. 

Moscheles, 185, 221, 317, 385; 
extracts from diary of, 223- 
228. 

Mosenthal, comments on Liszt, 
222. 

Mouchanofif-Kalergis, Marie 
von, 42, 363. 

Mozart, 10, 31, 32, 62, 84, 105, 
142, 282, 304, 409, 432; his 
piano, 262. 

MUllerlieder (Schubert's), 167. 

Munch, Edward, 28. 

Munkaczy, 25, 44, 280, 417; 
portrait of Liszt, 338. 

Murphy, Lady Blanche, ac- 
count of Liszt's sojourn at 
Monte Mario in 1862, 265- 
267. 

M usenalmanach. The, 133. 

Musical Journal (London), 
307; Standard, The, 378; 
Times (London), 300; World 
(London), 308-310. 

Musset, Alfred de, 5, 398. 

" My Literary Life " (Madame 
Edmond Adam), 39. 

Nachtigall (director), 242. 

Natalucci, 381. 

Neate, 302. 

"Nelida" (by Countess 

d'Agoult), 41, 259. 
Neo-German school, 53. 
Nerenz, 89. 

Neue Zeitschrifl j'llr Musik, 92. 
Neupert, Edmund, 425. 
Newmarch, Rose, on Liszt in 

Russia, 293-300. 
New museum, Berlin, 132. 
Newman, Ernest, 7, 10. 
Nicholas I, Emperor, 295. 



Niecks, Dr. Frederick, 40, 73, 

74. 77. 134. 313. 409, 414- 
Nietzsche, Friedrich, 21, 38, 

144, 327, 329. 331. 333-335. 
360; Elisabeth Foerster, 329, 

333. 334- 
Nohant, 81. 

Norma (Thalberg's), 63. 
Normanby, Lord, 252. 
Novello, Clara, 377, 378. 

Obermann, 9. 
Odescalchi, Princess, 49. 
Olde, Professor Hans, 331.' 
OUivier, Emile, 15; Madame 
Emile. (See Blandine Liszt.) 
Onslow, 201. 

Orcagna, Andrea, 28, 84, 175. 
Order of the Golden Spur, 296. 
Orpheus (Gluck's), 121. 
Overbeck, 80, 83. 
"Oxford History of Music," 187. 

Pacini, 292. 

Paderewski, 16, 17, 418, 41 9 

423. 425-428, 432, 436. 
Paer, 80. 
Paganini, 2, 17, 73, 76, 282- 

284, 292, 378, 402, 403, 411; 

caprices, 185. 
Paganini Studies (Schumami's), 

73- 

Paisiello, 80. 

Palestrina, 84. 

Palibin, Madame, 297, 298. 

Paroles d'un Croyant (Lame- 
nais), 14. 

Parry, John, 309, 310. 

Parsons, Albert Ross, 421. 

Passini, 89. 

Paur, 144; Madame, 436. 

Pavlovna, Grand Duchess Ma- 
ria, 3, 42, 46, 47, 128. 

Pavlovna, Princess Maria, 22. 

Petersen, Dory, 436. 

Petrarca, 165. 

Philharmonic Society, London, 
171, 223, 224, 307. 

Pianoforte music, notation of, 
186, 187. 

Piano-playing, 60-66, 423. 

Picasso, 28. 

Piccini, 80. 

Pick, Mgr., 345. 

Pietagrua, Angela, 36. 



453 



INDEX 



Pisa, Giovanni da, 84. 

Pius IX, 45, 48, 50, 91, 92, loi, 
342, 349. 390; PiusX, 50; an 
audience with, 345-352. 

Pixis, 82, 308. 

Pixis-Gdhringer, FranciUa, 82. 

Plaidy, 385. 

Planche, Gustave, 39. 

Plant6, 433- 

Plater, Countess Louis (Grafin 
Brzostowska), witticism of, 

^ 35. 37- 

Pleyel, 286; piano, 282; Marie 

Camiile, 17, 42, 201, 436. 
Podoska, M. Calm, 49; Pauline 

(mother of the Princess Sayn- 

Wittgenstein), 45. 
Pohl, Carl Ferdinand, 300; 

Richard (pupil), 126, 127, 

130. 149. 151- 
Polonaise (Chopin), 70, 75,'i86, 

430- 
Porges, Heinrich (pupil), 92. 
Potter, Cipriani, 302. 
Praitorius, Michael, 172. 
Preludes (Chopin), 75. 
Programme music, 106, 115, 

156, 186. 
Prlickner, Dionys (pupil), 19, 

^ 171- 

P'uckler, Prince (pupil), 342. 

Pugna, 425, 433. 

Punch (London), 312. 

Quarterly Musical Magazine 
and Review (London), 301. 

Raab, Toni, 24. 

Raff, Joachim (pupil), 19, 27, 
67, 260. 

Raiding (or Reiding), Liszt's 
birthplace, 13, 60, 66, 339. 

Rakoczy, Prince Franz, 198, 
200. 

Ramaciotti, 382. 

Ramann, Lina (pupil and biog- 
rapher), 49, 50, 74-76, 128, 
168, 171, 191, 200. 

Raphael, 9, 28, 80, 84, 233. 

Rauzan, Duchesse de, 319. 

Ravel, 10. 

Realism, 61, 62. 

Recamier, Madame de, 43. 

"Records of Later Life" (Kem- 
ble), 244. 



Reeves, Henry, extract from his 

biography, 319, 320. 
Reger, 10, 30. 
Reichstadt, Due de, 11. 
Reisenauer, Alfred (pupil), 34, 

425. 
Rembrandt, 28. 
Remenyi, Edward (pupil), 19, 

358. 
Reminiscences of Liszt: 

Andersen, Hans Christian, 
230-234- 

Anonymous German Ad- 
mirer, 252-258. 

Anonymous Lady Admirer, 
262-265. 

B. W. H., 275-280. 

Bauer, Caroline, 241-244. 

Beringer, Oscar, 376, 377. 

Berlioz, 210-217. 

Commettant, Oscar, 219, 330. 

De Bury, Blaze, 218, 319. 

D'Ortigue, 217, 218. 

Dwight, 228, 229. 

Eliot, George, 258-262. 

EUet, Mrs., 248, 249. 

Escudier, Leon, 220-222. 

Grieg, Eduard, 313-316. 

Heine, 234-241. 

Hoffman, Richard, 316-318. 

Kemble, Fanny, 244, 245. 

Kirkenbuhl, Karl, 267-275. 

Legouv6, Ernest, 281-291. 

Macready, 252. 

Minasi, 250-252. 

Montez, Lola, 246, 247. 

Moscheles, 223-228. 

Mosenthal, 222, 223. 

Murphy, Lady Blanche, 265- 
267. 

Novello, Clara, 377, 378. 

Reeves, Henry, 319-330. 

Rosenthal, 366-368. 

Schumann, Robert, 391-294. 

Von Lenz, 201-210. 

Weingartner, 400, 401. 
Renan, Henrietta, 334. 
Requiem (Berlioz), 193. 
Reulke, Julius (pupil), 401. 
Reviczy, Countess, 100. 
Revolutionary Study (Cho- 
pin's), 6. 
Revue des Deux Mondes, 218; 

Europeenne, 211; du Monde 

Cathhlique, 88} de Paris, ^gz. 



454 



INDEX 



Richter, 385; Jean Paul, 134. 

Riedel, Karl (pm)iJ), 89. 

Riedle Society, The, 363. 

Ries, 302. 

Rietscnl, 261. 

Righini, 80. 

Rimsky-KorsakofE (pupil), 27, 
414-416. 

Ring, Niebelungen (Wagner), 
7, 142-144, 188, 245, 363. 

Riv6-King, Julia, 436. 

Robiert (Meyerbeer's), 231. 

Rodin, Augusta, 331, 338. 

Roger-Miclos, Madame, 436. 

Roman New Musical Society, 
382. 

Romantic school, 5, 28, 63. 

Romeo and Juliet (Berlioz), 212. 

"Rbmischen Tagebiichern" 
(Gregorovius), 88. 

Roquette, Otto, 191. 

Rosa, Carl, 385; Salvator, 28. 

Rosenthal Moriz (pupil), 24, 57, 
366, 367, 424, 425, 427-429. 
431- 

Rospigliosi, Fanny, Princess, 
42. 

Rossetti, Christina, 437. 

Rossini, 63, 80, 84, 86, loi, 204, 
300. 377. 4". 412. 

Rougon-Macquart series, 26. 

Rousseau, J. J., 11. 

Royal Amateur Orchestral So- 
ciety (London), 312; Society 
of Musicians (London), 301. 

Rubini, 237, 252. 

Rubinstein, 17, 19, 24, 63, 145, 
156, 171, 222, 223, 262, 374, 
382, 386-388, 402, 420-423, 
427. 433. 435 ; Nicolas (pupil), 
421. 

Riickert, 165. 

Rummel, Franz, 1^4, 425. 

Runciman, John F., 21. 

Russlane, 298. 

Ruzsitska, 199. 

Sacchini, 80. 
Sainte-Beuve, 9, 11. 
Saint-Criq, Comtesse Caroline 

de (pupil), 36, 37. 
St. Matthew's Passion (Bach), 

195- 
Samt-Saens, Camille (pupil), 
24. 27, 54, 64, 65, 67, 104, 



176, 177, i8r, 369, 382, 386 
42s, 426, 433. 

Saint-Simon, 14. 

Salaman, Charles, 304, 308. 

Salieri, 13. 

Salviati, 347. 

Samarofif, Olga, 436. 

Sand, George, 15, 16, 19, 39, 40, 
43. 81, 204, 246, 247, 391, 
436- 

Santa Francesca Romana, cloi- 
ster, 95. 

Sarasate, 432. 

Sarti, 80. 

Sauer, Emil (pupO), 24, 57, 
425. 

Sauerma, Countess Rosalie 
(pupil), 42. 

Sayn-Wittgenstein, Princess, 8, 
19, 20, 22-24, 39. 42-45. 47- 
50, $3, 56, 99, 100, 127, 128, 
135-138, 146, 260, 328, 362. 

Scarlatti, 423. 

Schade, Dr., 260. 

Schadow, 28. 

Schakovskoy, Princess Nadine. 
(See Helbig.) 

Scheffer, Ary, 16, 28, 260, 261, 
289. 

Scherzo (Chopin), 75, 76, 428. 

Schiller, 47, 165, 167, 223, 279, 
328-330; Madeleine, 436. 

Scnindler, 13. 

Schlaf, Johannes, 332. 

Schlesinger' s Gazette Musicale, 
203, 287. 

Schlozer, Kurt von, 80, 94. 

Schmidt, Dr. Leopola, 190. 

Schoenberg, Arnold, 419. 

Scholl (band master), 200. 

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 328; 
Madame Johanna, 89, 328. 

Schorn, Adelheid von (pupil), 
44. 

Schubert, 66, 105, 160, 166, 167, 
293, 411.9420. 

Schule der Gelaufigkeit (Czer- 
ny), 182. 

Schumann, Robert, 5, 19, 53, 
56, 57, 60, 62, 66, 73, 105, 
172, 182, 183, 185, 375, 381, 
397. 398. 405. 408, 409, 418, 
420, 421, 432; on Liszt's 
playing, 291-294; Clara, 53, 
56. 57. 436, 437- 



455 



INDEX 



Schwanthaler, 261. 

Schwarz, Frau von, 89. 

Schweinfurt, 89. 

Schwindt, Moritz v., 191. 

Scriabine, 435. 

Scribe, 217. 

Scudo, 17. 

Scgantini, 338. 

Segnitz, Eugene, 49, 79, 84, 85, 

80, 92. 
Seidl, Anton, 359. 
Senabrich, MarceUa, 431. 
Serassi, Pier Antonio, 197. 
Serov, 296, 298, 299. 
Servais, Franz (pupil), 359. 
Sgambati, Giovanni (pupil), 91, 

314, 342, 381-384. 
Sherwood, William H. (pupil), 

425- 
Siloti, Alexander (pupil), 24, 

174, 425- 
Simpson, Palgrave, 252. 
Sinding, Otto, 338. 
Slivinski, 425. 
Smart, Sir G., 302, 303. 
Smetana, Frederick (pupil), 

414. 
Society of Music Friends, 139. 
Solfanelli, Abbe, 96. 
Sonata (Beethoven), 6, 38, 59, 

214, 215, 319, 428. 
Sonata (Wagner), 142. 
Sonata (Weber), 207-210. 
"Songs and Song Writers" 

(H. T. Finck), 165. 
Sonntag, 82, 204. 
Sophie, Princess, of Holland, 

46. 
"Souvenirs d'une Cosaque" 

(Olga Janina), 41. 
Sowinski, 75. 
Spanuth, August (analysis of 

the Hungarian Rhapsodies), 

160-165, 425. 
Speyeras, W. C., 389. 
Spohr, 42, 226, 300. 
Spontini, 258, 259. 
Stahr, Ad., 79. 
Stahr, Frauleins, 397. 
Stassor (Russian critic), 296- 

298. 
Stavenhagen, Bemhard (pupil), 

24, 98, 312, 425. 
Steinway& Sons, 394. 
Stella, 417. 



Stendhal, 4, 5, ir, 34, 35, 64, 

141. 
Stern, Daniel (pen name of the 

Countess d'Agoult), 16. 
Sternberg, von, 425. 
Stimson, 385. 
Stojowski, 425, 435. 
Stradal, August (pupil), 98-100. 
Strauss, Richard, 8, 27, 29, 31, 

52, 54, 145. 146, 168, 331, 

419. 
Streicher, Nanette, 436. 
Strobl, 417. 

Studies (Chopin), 75, 437. 
Sullivan, 385. 
Symphony (Beethoven), 105, 

171, 292, 382. 
Symphony (Berlioz), 106. 
Symphony (Haydn), 172. 
Symphony (Herold), 106. 
Symphony (Schubert), 293. 
Symphony (Schumann), 172. 
"Symphony Since Beethoven" 

(Weingartner), 153. 
Szalit, Paula, 436. 
Saekely, 338. 

Szumowska, Antoinette, 436. 
Szymanowska, Madame de, 

436. 

Tadema, Alma, 100. 

Taffanel, 281. 

Tageblait, The, 190. 

Tagel (Wurtemburg counsellor 
of court), 254, 255. 

Taglioni, Marie, 204. 

Taine, 343. 

Taj Mahal, 29. 

Tancredi, Tournament duet in, 
204. 

Tannhauser (Wagner), 181, 
188.377. 

Tasso, 100. 

"Tasso" (Byron's), 115. 

"Tasso" (Goethe's), 113, 115. 

Tausig, Alois, 362; Karl (pupil), 
17. 19. 58,62,63, 73,95, 138, 
359-366, 374, 376, 402, 420, 
421, 423, 424. 431. 432. 434- 

Taylor, Franklin, 385. 

Thackeray, W. M., n, 28, 47. 

Thalberg, 16, 17, 60, 63, 81, 
211, 221, 247, 250, 251, 282- 
28s, 287, 288, 308, 359, 378, 
399> 4". 420, 430- 



456 



INDEX 



Theatre des Italiens (Paris), 

104, 235, 283, 288. 
Theatre Royal (Manchester), 

303- 
Theiner, Pater, 91. 
Thiers, 104. 

Thode, Professor Henry, 280. 
Thomas, Theodore, 132, 133. 
Thorwaldsen, 78, 80. 
Tilgner, 417. 
Tintoretto, 28. 
Tisza, 200. 
Titian, 28, 84. 
Tolstoy, Countess, 98. 
Torhilon-Buell, Marie, 436. 
Tr6mont, Baron, 201. 
Tristan and Isolde (Wagner) 

6, 7. 25. 55, 143. 280, 363. 
Triumph of Death, (fresco), 

175- 
Tschaikowsky, 27, 145, 146, 

367, 419, 422. 
Turgenev, 388. 

Uhland, 165. 

Ungarische Tanze (Brahms'), 

190. 
Unger-Sabatier, Caroline, 42. 
Urspruch, Anton (pupil), 24. 

Vaczek, Carl, 198, 199. 
Valle deir Inferno, 100. 
Vallet, Michael, 390, 391. 
Valse-impromptu (Chopin), 

186. 
Van der Stucken (pupil), 24, 

358- 
Vasari, 347. 
Vatican, The, 49, 79, 83, 92, 93, 

94, 342. 352- 
Veit, 83. 

Veldi, Professor van de, 332. 
Verdi, 96, 180, 300, 412. 
Verlaine, Paul, 10, 62, 63, 

375. 
Verne t, Horace, 124. 
Veronese, 28. 
Vesque, 226. 

Viardot- Garcia, Pauline, 42. 
Victoria, Queen, 24, 312. 
Viennese pianos, 62, 182. 
Villa d'Este, 9, 96, 341. 
Villa Medici, 83. 
Vimercati, 302. 
Vivier, 227. 



Vogrich, Max, 332, 425; Opera 

Buddha, 332. 
Voltaire, 124. 
Volterra, Daniele da, 347. 

Wagner, Richard, i, 2, 5-10, 
18-21, 23, 27, 29-32, 38, 43. 
45. 47. 53-55. 57, 58. 63. 65, 
67, 96, loi, 103, 108, 119, 
140-144, 146, 147. 150. 151. 
157. 158, 167, 171, 180, 186, 
188, 189, 191, 280, 300, 333, 
362, 363, 382, 411, 412, 419, 
420, 422; Madame Richard 
(see Cosima von Biilow Wag- 
ner); Siegfried, 26. 

"Wagnerfrage" (Raff), 260. 

Wales, Prince and Princess of, 
312. 

Walker, Bettina, 383; " My Mu- 
sical Experiences," 383. 

Ward, Andrew, 304, 317, 319. 

Wartburg festival, 96, 272. > 

Watteau, 120. 

Weber, 6, 105, 205-207, 215, 
282, 283, 300, 368. 

Wehrstaedt, 206, 207. 

Weimar, Duchess of, (see Pav- 
lovna); Ernst, Grand Duke, 
330; Grand Duke Carl Al- 
exander of, 3, 42, 44, 46. 

Weingartner, Felix (pupil), 153, 
400, 401; on Liszt's sym- 
phonic works, 153-156. 

Wesendonck, Mathilde, 20, 

43- 
Wesley, Samuel Sebastian, 301. 
Wieland, 328. 
Wiertz, 28. 
Wild, Jonathan, 79. 
Wildenbruch, Ernst von, 331. 
William Tell, Oveiture to, 82, 

298. 
Winckelmann, 78, 275. 
Winding, 314. 
Windsor Express (London), 

^04. 
Wmterberger, Alex, (pupil), 

^59- 
Wiseman, Cardinal, 79. 
Wittgenstein, Princess (see 

Sayn-Wittgenstein); Prince 

Nikolaus, 46, 47, 50. 
Wohl, Janka (pupil), 56, 417. 
Wolff, Dr., 226, 227. 



457 



INDEX 

WoI£Fenbuttel, 172. Yeats, 327. 

Wolkenstein, Countess, 42. 

Wolkof, 417. Zampa, Overture to, 181. 

Wolzogen, Von, 57. Zeisler, Fannie Bloomfield, 431, 

Worcester festival, 191. 436, 437. 

Woronice (estate of Princess Zichy, Geza (pupil), 24; Mi- 

Sayn-Wittgenstein), 45-47. chael, 338. 

Wortley, Stuart, 252. Zingarelli, 381. 

Wurtemburg, King of, 252, 254, Zoellncr, 196. 

355. Zucchari, 347. 



45S 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 



PROMENADES 

of an 

IMPRESSIONIST 

$1.50 net 

Contents : Paul Cezanne — Rops the Etcher — Monticellt — Rodin 
— Eugene Carrifere — Degas — Botticelli — Six Spaniards — Char- 
din — Black and White — Impressionism — A New Study of Wat- 
teau — Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec — Literature and Art — 
Museum Promenades. 

" The vivacity of Mr. Huneker's style sometimes tends to conceal 
the judiciousness of his matter. His justly great reputation as a 
journalist critic most people would attribute to his salient phrase. 
To the present writer, the phrase goes for what it is worth — gener- 
ally it io eloquent and interpretative, again merely decorative — what 
really counts is an experienced and unbiassed mind at ease with its 
material. The criticism that can pass from Goya, the tempestuous, 
that endless fount of facile enthusiasms, and do justice to the serene 
talent of Fortuny is certainly catholic. In fact, Mr. Huneker is an 
impressionist only in his aversion to the literary approach, and in a 
somewhat wilful lack of system. This, too, often seems less temper- 
amental than a result of journalistic conditions, and of the dire need 
of being entertaining. 

" We like best such sober essays as those which analyze for us the 
technical contributions of Cdzanne and Rodin. Here, Mr. Huneker 
is a real interpreter, and here his long experience of fmen and ways 
in art counts for much. Charming, in the slighter vein, are such ap- 
preciations as the Monticelli, and Chardin. Seasoned readers of 
Mr. Huneker's earlier essays in musical and dramatic criticism will 
naturally turn to the fantastic titles in this book. Such border-line 
geniuses as Greco, Rops, Meryon, Gustave Moreau, John Martin, are 
treated with especial gusto. We should like to have an appreciation 
of Blake from this ardent searcher of fine eccentricities. In the main 
the book is devoted to artists who have come into prominence since 
1870, the French naturally predominating, but such precursors of 
modem tendencies or influential spirits as Botticelli, Watteau, 
Piranesi are included. Eleven ' Museum promenades,' chiefly in 
the Low Countries and in Spain, are on the whole less interesting 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 



than the mdividual appreciations — necessarily so, but this category 
embraces a capital sketch of Franz Hals at Haarlem, while the three 
Spanish studies on the Prado Museum, Velasquez, and Greco at 
Toledo, are quite of the best. From the Velasquez, we transcribe 
one of many fine passages: 

" ' His art is not correlated to the other arts. One does not 
dream of music or poetry or sculpture or drama in front of 
his pictures. One thinks of life and then of the beauty of 
the paint Velasquez is never rhetorical, nor does he p>aint 
for the sake of making beautiful surfaces as often does 
Titian. His practice is not art for art as much as art for 
life. As a portraitist, Titian's is the only name to be coupled 
with that of Velasquez. He neither flattered his sitters, as 
did Van Dyck, nor mocked them like Goya. And consider 
the mediocrities, the dull, ugly, royal persons he was forced 
to paint! He has wrung the neck of banal eloquence, and 
his prose, sober, rich, noble, sonorous, rhythmic, is, to my 
taste, preferable to the exalted, versatile volubility and lofty 
poetic tumblings in the azure of any school of piainting.' 

Here we see how winning Mr. Huneker's manner is and how in- 
sidious. Unless you immediately react against that apparently 
innocent word 'tumblings,' your faith in the grand style will begin 
to disintegrate. It is this very sense of walking among pitfalls that 
will make the book fascinating to a veteran reader. The young are 
advised to temper it with an infusion of Sir Joshua Reynolds's ' Dis- 
courses,' quantum sufficit." — Frank Jewett Mathee, Jr., in A'^ew 
York Nation and Evening Post, 



EGOISTS 

A BOOK OF SUPERMEN 
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12mo. $1.50 net; Postpaid $1.65 

Contents : Stendhal — Baudelaire — Flaubert — Anatole France — 
Huysmans — Barrfes — Hello — Blake — Nietzsche — Ibsen— Max 
Stimer. 

" The work of a man who knows his subject thoroughly and who 
writes frankly and unconventionally." — The Outlook. 

"Stimulating, provocative of thought." — The Forum. 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 

ICONOCLASTS: 

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Gerhart Hauptmann — Paul Hervieu — The Quintessence of 
Shaw — Maxim Gorky's Nachtasyl — Hermann Sudermann — 
Princess Mathilde's Play — Duse and D'Annunzio — Villiers de 
risle Adam — Maurice Maeterlinck. 

"His style is a little jerky, but it is one of those rare styles in which 
we are led to expect some significance, if not wit, in every sentence." 
— G. K. Chesterton, in Lotidon DaUy News. 

" No other book in English has surveyed the whole field so com- 
prehensively." — The Outlook. 

"A capital book, lively, informing, suggestive." 

— London Times Saturday Review. 

"Eye-opening and mind-clarifying is Mr. Huneker's criticism; 
. . . no one having read that opening essay in this volume 
will lay it down until the final judgment upon Maurice Maeterlinck 
is reached." — Boston Transcript. 



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IVna FRONTISPIECE PORTRAIT OF 
RICHARD STRAUSS 

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etc.) — The Eternal Feminine — The Beethoven of French Prose 
—Nietzsche the Rhapsodist — Anarchs of Art — After Wagner, 
What? — Verdi and Boito. 

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edge, its catholicity of taste, and its inexhaustible energy." 

— Saturday Review, London. 

"In some respects Mr. Huneker must be reckoned the most 
brilliant of all living wrriters on matters musical." — Academy, London. 

"No modem musical critic has shown greater ingenuity in the 
attempt to correlate the literary and musical tendencies of the nine- 
teenth century." — Spectator, London. 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 

MEZZOTINTS IN 
MODERN MUSIC 

BRAHMS, TSCHAIKOWSKY, CHOPIN, 

RICHARD STRAUSS. LISZT 

AND WAGNER 

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"Mr. Huneker is, in the best sense, a critic; he listens to the 
music and gives you his impressions as rapidly and in as few words 
as possible ; or he sketches the composers in fine, broad, sweeping 
strokes with a magnificent disregard for unimportant details. And 
as Mr. Huneker is, as I have said, a powerful personality, a man of 
quick brain and an energetic imagination, a man of moods and tem- 
perament — a string that vibrates and sings in response to music — 
we get in these essays of his a distinctly original and very valuable 
contribution to the world's tiny musical literature." 

— J. F. RuNcniAN, in London Saturday Review. 



MELOMANIACS 

i2mo. $1.50 

Contents: The Lord's Prayer in B — A Son of Liszt — A Chopin 
of the Gutter — The Piper of Dreams — An Emotional Acrobat 
— Isolde's Mother — The Rim of Finer Issues — An Ibsen Girl — 
Tannhauser's Choice — The Red-Headed Piano Player — Bryn- 
hild's Immolation — The Quest of the Elusive — An Involimtary 
Insurgent — Hunding's Wife — The Corridor of Time — Avatar 
— The Wegstaffes give a Musicale — The Iron Virgin — Dusk 
of the Gods — Siegfried's Death — Intermezzo — A Spinner of 
Silence — The Disenchanted Symphony — Music the Cfonqueror. 

"It would be difficult to sum up 'Melomaniacs' in a phrase. 
Never did a book, in my opinion at any rate, exhibit greater con- 
trasts, not, perhaps, of strength and weakness, but of clearness and 
obscurity. It is inexplicably uneven, as if the writer were perpetu- 
ally playing on the boundary line that divides sanity of thought from 
intellectual chaos. There is method in the madness, but it is a 
method of intangible ideas. Nevertheless, there is genius written 
over a large portion of it, and to a musician the wealth of musical 
imagination is a living spring of thought." 

--Hakold E. Gorst, in London Saturday Review (Dec 8, xpo6). 



BOOKS BY JAMES HUNEKER 



VISIONARIES 

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Contents: A Master of Cobwebs — The Eighth Deadly Sin — The 
Purse of Aholibah — Rebels of the Moon — The Spiral Road — 
A Mock Sun — Antichrist — The Eternal Duel — The Enchanted 
Yodler — The Third Kingdom — The Haunted Harpsichord — 
The Tragic Wall— A Sentimental Rebellion— Hall of the Miss- 
ing Footsteps — The Cursory Light — An Iron Fan — The Woman 
Who Loved Chopin — The Tune of Time — Nada — Pan. 

"The author's style is sometimes grotesque in its desire both to 
startle and to find true expression. He has not followed those great 
novelists who write French a child may read and imderstand. He 
calls the moon 'a spiritual gray wafer'; it faints in 'a red wind'; 
'truth beats at the bars of a man's bosom'; the sim is 'a sulphur- 
colored cymbal'; a man moves with 'the jaunty grace of a young 
elephant' But even these oddities are significant and to be placed 
hign above the slipshod sequences of words that have done duty 
till they are as meaningless as the imprint on a worn-out coin. 

" Besides, in nearly every story the reader b arrested by the idea, 
and only a litde troubled now and then bv an over-elaborate style. 
If most of us are sane, the ideas cherished by these visionaries are 
insane; but the imagination of the author so illuminates them that 
we follow wondering and spellbound. In 'The Spiral Road' and 
in some of the other stories 00th fantasy and narrative may be com- 
pared with Hawthorne in his most unearthly moods. The younger 
man has read his Nietzsche and has cast off his heritage of simple 
morals. Hawthorne's Puritanism finds no echo in these modem 
souls, all sceptical, wavering and unblessed. But Hawthorne's 
splendor of vision and his pxjwer of sympathy with a tormented 
mind do live again in the best of Mr. Huneker's stories." 

— London Academy (Feb. 3, 1906). 



CHOPIN: 

The Man and His Music 

IV/T/f ETCHED PORTRAIT 

i2mo. $2.00 

" No pianist, amateur or professional, can rise from the perusal of 
his pages without a deeper appreciation of the new forms of beauty 
which Chopin has added, like so manv species of orchids, to the 
musical flora of the nineteenth century." — The Nation. 

" I think it not too much to predict that Mr. Huneker's estimate 
of Chopin and his works is destined to be the permanent one. He 
gives the reader the cream of the cream of all noteworthy previous 
commentators, besides much that is wholly his own. He speaks at 
once with modesty and authority, always with personal charm." 

— Boston Transcript. 



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